An extensive set of 34 mahogany chairs by Charles Baker, comprising four carvers and 30 side chairs, each with a shaped cresting rail and openwork interlaced splat, the carvers further embellished with flower buds and volute scrolls, with a re-leathered drop-in seat and square seat rail, all on square section legs joined by I-shaped stretchers, many with an additional back stretcher., labelled and stamped ‘Made by Charles Baker, Chippendale House, Wells Road, Bath,’. English, c1910.
Carvers: H 39 ½ in W 26in D 22 ½ in
Side chairs: H 38 W 22 ½ in D 22 in
Footnote: Charles Baker (1841 -1932), came from an important family of chair and cabinet makers working in Bath in the 19th and early 20th centuries. He had workshops at the appropriately named Chippendale House, 4 Wells Road, Bath in 1888, and worked there until his death in 1932. The firm was known for its exacting recreation of 18th century designs especially Sheraton and Chippendale patterns. Together with his elder brother William, Charles trained in chair making under his father Alexander Baker. He established his own company in 1888 and entered into a silent partnership with the Aberdeen hotelier Mr Mann in 1910. Mann was father-in-law to Charles Augustus Richter, who together with his brothers, started the famous ‘Bath Cabinet Makers’ Firm. Baker & Mann became a subsidiary of Bath Cabinet Makers at this time, the name reverting to Charles Baker on Mann’s death.
A portrait of Charles Baker, working at his bench aged eighty, by Frederick George Swaish hangs in the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath.
‘Furniture Made in Bath’, Exhibition at the Holburne of Menstrie Museum, Bath, 13 September to 27 October 1985.