Artwork of the Day – William Davidson


Liverpool artwork of the day – Thursday December 20 2007. Chairs c1766 by William Davidson (c1729 – 1773) Mahogany, beech and pine, modern silk damask covers. At Lady Lever

Is it just me feeling a bit rough after partying last night or is all very old furniture really, really ugly?

This remarkable chinoiserie chair is from a set of seven (and a much altered sofa) made for Sir John (later Lord) Delaval at Ford Castle, Northumberland. William Davidson was evidently referring to this suite when he wrote from his workshop at Berwick-upon-Tweed to Lady Delaval at Ford in 1766: ‘your 6 Chenise Chairs & fly table shall be sett about and forwarded in dew time. To your desire to have sent you a Pattron Chair…it is wanting 2 Brass Buttons behind.’

The loose backs are indeed held in place by two swivelling brass ‘buttons’ in the form of Chinamen’s masks.

Lady Lever Art Gallery