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image XF223
Sofa, XF223, English, unknown maker, early nineteenth century, mahogany, silk and brass. ©Sir John Soane's Museum, London. Photograph: Hugh Kelly.

Sofa, English, unknown maker, early nineteenth century

Mahogany upholstered in silk, with brass castors

Height: 76cm
Height (seat): 32cm
Width: 186cm
Depth: 61cm

Museum number: XF223

Curatorial note

With scroll arms with rows of diagonal banding half way down each arm; upholstered in yellow silk1 with red trimming; two cushions with black tassels; squat legs on brass castors.

This sofa was for many years in the ‘Curator’s Back Room’ on the second floor but was placed in the South Drawing Room in 1984 by Peter Thornton, who had it re-upholstered in yellow silk by Elizabeth Eaton Limited. He was convinced that it was not Soane’s original sofa and thought that it might have belonged to George Bailey (a sofa is listed amongst the Bailey furniture in the Museum). The original South Drawing Room sofa is described in the Furniture and Fittings inventory as having a ‘stuffed back and ends, hair cushion and two pillows, the whole with chintz covers’ and is shown in the 1825 view by J. M. Gandy (Vol. 82, 29). Although similar to this one in overall appearance and shape, the legs do appear to be different.

1 Prior to 1988 it was upholstered in black horsehair; note by Peter Thornton in SM object file that when it was reupholstered ‘the back rail was replaced under my instructions. It had been altered in some way’.


Peter Thornton, Soane and Furniture, 1985, p. 4

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk