An unusual pair of mid 19th. Century Black and Gilt decorated chairs by HOLLAND & SONS, the upholstered backs with hand scoops to the rear, the carved front legs terminating in brass cups and casters stamped W.HOPKINS & SON, PATENT, the rear sabred legs with side corner brackets stamped with the Chairmakers name C. CULYER , as well as HOLLAND & SONS and bearing stamps for the MOD as well. Culyer worked on the Dorchester House chairs supplied to Sir Robert Staynor Holford by Holland & Sons in 1856-58. Holland and Sons of London rose from their origins in the early 19th. Century to become by the middle years of the century a rival to Gillows of Lancaster and one of the greatest of English furniture makers. Recorded as early as 1815 as Taprell and Holland, by 1843 under the auspices of William Holland, a relative of the famous Regency architect Henry Holland, they joined with Thomas Dowbiggin of 23 Mount Street who had made the state throne for Queen Victoria's coronation. They were also successful undertakers and were responsible for the Duke of Wellington's funeral. Under William Holland they became cabinetmakers and upholsterers to the Queen, their first commission being for Osborne House in 1845. They received the Royal Warrant in 1846 and continued to supply furniture for Osborne until 1869 gaining further commissions for Windsor Castle, Balmoral and Marlborough House. Hollands also worked for other leading institutions including the Reform and Athanaeum clubs, the British Museum and the Royal Academy. Along with Gillows, they shared the commission for the new Houses of Parliament. There are several pieces of seating furniture still at Westminster supplied by Holland & Sons and stamped W.Bryson. They participated in many of the important International Exhibitions and indeed their prize winning chimney-piece and bookcase in Cinquecento taste exhibited in the 1851 Great Exhibition was still at Flintham Hall in Nottingham as recently as 1977. They also showed in 1862 in London again, Vienna in 1873 and Paris in both 1867 and 1872. The Hollands day books are now housed in the National Archive of Art and Design in London.
See: Christie's Sale, 4th. October 2001 lot 24 and Sotheby's Sale Friday 15th. November 1996 Lot 114. See also research commissioned by W.R.Harvey & Co. (Antiques) Ltd 2002 to 2004 and executed by Christina Anderson. See also "Furniture History" The Annual Journal of The Furniture History Society, Volume XLI for 2005, Pages 217 -230 "