By  on December 11, 2009

LONDON — There’s nothing like a chair to get the wheels in David Linley’s brain spinning at top speed. To most people, a chair is a temporary place to park, but for Linley, the British cabinetmaker and chairman of Christie’s U.K., it’s one big conundrum. “It’s a mathematical nightmare!” says the 48-year-old Linley, son of Lord Snowdon and the late Princess Margaret.

Over tea and cookies at his office in St. James’s, Linley points to a photo of a green velvet George I chair with elegantly splayed back legs. “If you’re a cabinetmaker, that sort of chair presses on your mind: How are the back legs angled? What size frock would the woman sitting on it be wearing? How could we improve upon it today?” he asks.

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