Goodwood is a great place to admire French furniture. In 1765 the 3rd Duke of Richmond was posted to Paris, as Ambassador to the court of King Louis XV. While he was there he acquired items of furniture by the latest and greatest of the expert Parisian cabinet makers, making fine additions to his furniture collection.
A large suite of chairs upholstered in their original five colour Lyons cut silk velvet was made, probably in that year, by Delanois, a cabinet maker of great distinction. There are more chairs by Gourdin, commodes by Dubois and Latz, and a coiffeuse by Roger Vandercruse.
Chimneypiece and Armchair
This magnificent giltwood armchair, one of a pair, was designed by William Kent for Richmond House in London. It bears putti heads on each side of the cresting, harmonising with the elaborate white statuary marble chimneypiece, also designed by Kent for Richmond House and now in the Music Room at Goodwood.
A giltwood fauteuil by Louis Delanois.
The Duke developed such a love of French furniture that he continued to collect after his return to England, gathering works in the late Louis XV, and Neo-Classical styles: there is a commode by Couturier, a secretaire by François Rübestück, and a very pretty little lady's writing desk by Feuerstein. There are also two important earlier pieces from the studio of Boulle, giving a good overall sense of the development of French furniture throughout the eighteenth century.
Lady's dressing table stamped RVLC JME, c. 1770. Roger Vandercruse (d.1799), called Lacroix, was received Master in 1755. The right-hand middle drawer inscribed in black ink '3 pièce Argentées Poirier', showing that three silver boxes were to be made as inserts, and that the item went through the hands of the famouse marchand mercier Simon-Philippe Poirier.
This magnificent commode is one of a pair designed by William Kent for Richmond House in London. They are attributed to William Hallett and date from c. 1735.
A charming French lady’s writing-desk with parquetry inlay, made by the French ébéniste Joseph Feuerstein (1733-1809). The Sèvres porcelain plaque was probably added in the nineteenth century.
Champ de Mai banner, Lyons Silk
Banners representing the different departments of France were awarded by Napoleon to his armies when they rallied before him on the Champ de Mars in Paris in May 1814. After his defeat, Louis XVIII gave most of them to the Duke of Wellington, who retained all except this one, which he gave to the 4th Duke and Duchess of Richmond as a memento of their stalwart behaviour in Brussels. It was originally in the French national colours of red, white and blue.