The Poseidon Adventure

by Margaret McAvoy

In yesterday’s post regarding Robert Adam, I had noted my recent infatuation with the sofa shown above.  It is one of a pair, of the original four, made 1762-65, by John Linnell (1729-1796), one of the most prominent cabinet-makers of the time, for Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Baron Scarsdale, for the Drawing Room at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.  Interpreted from the drawings of Robert Adam, who was commissioned to design garden buildings for the property.  Curzon reputedly was so taken with the work of Adam, that he then commissioned him to oversee construction of the entire house.

Of a gilt, pine wood, they depict at each end a triton and sea nymph, tails entwined with a dolphin.  The back features a centered medallion with the head profile of Juno.  Measuring 122 x 342 x 110 cm (approximately 48″ x 134″ x 43″), it is upholstered in a medium blue, tone-on-tone damask.

Commanding in scale and motif, and certainly in such opulent surroundings.  At the very least, they are completely magnificent.  Not easily forgotten, and rightly so.  This will be yet another image to tack on my “board of escape”, and sporadically treat myself to a moment from another place and era!

Images (top three) kindly via Kedleston Hall, National Trust, ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie.

Image (last) kindly via The Art Fund, ©Kedleston Hall, National Trust.

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