Described by Bernard Cotton, the renowned furniture historian and author of The English Regional Chairs, as the peak of Windsor design,” this yew and elm armchair is indeed a fine piece and is an “almost pair” to 160-106B with only a slight variations.
This chair is a classic early design from the Thames Valley with an elaborate Gothic central splat, narrower upper and lower fretted splats to each side and short fretted splats supporting the arms bows, housed within a hoop from back, above an elm saddle seat over front cabriole legs with fretted ears, the turned rear legs all connected by a crinoline stretcher.
According to Cotton (op. it p.47), these chairs owe much to the Gothic revival of the second quarter of the 18th century, epitomized in the renovation of Strawberry Hill by Horace Walpole (1717-1797). Period Gothic splat chairs, considered the “best” Windsor furniture are only known to have been made in a combination of yew and elm.
English, Thames Valley c. 1760