Carved, turned and joined oak, the inlay probably stained sycamore and bog oak
104 x 56 cm
Place of origin
South-West YorkshireOrder this image
Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire (Accredited Museum)
An oak and inlaid armchair, probably Derbyshire/Yorkshire, circa 1685. This chair is extremely unusual, its upper half very like backstools of the period, with two arched and pendant-hung cusped splats between uprights topped by scrolls and applied with split bobbin mouldings, whilst its lower half resembles more nearly enclosed panel-backs of the period. It is possible, therefore, that this chair is a fabrication from a 17th century backstool, but the scale of the back - larger than the average backstool - and the configuration of the back and arms, suggest that it may just be an unusual survival. The panel to the back is between rails inlaid with chequer-inlay typical of Yorkshire chairs. The outward-scrolling large terminals at the top of the rear uprights are unusual. The split bobbin mouldings to the rear uprights, and the pendants to the splats, may well be of fruitwood.
Once thought to have come from the 17th century house at Nostell, surviving bills and receipts suggest that much of the oak furniture at Nostell Priory was in fact purchased by Charles Winn (1795 - 1874), who inherited a house with many rooms unfinished. An interested antiquarian, Winn chose to furnish some of the rooms, such as the Lower Hall, Vestibule and West Passage, with furniture of the 16th and 17th centuries. Payments were made by Winn to E. Terry of Thornes, near Wakefield, for 'sundry pieces of antique oak furniture' in 1834 and to John Swaby, a curiosity dealer of Wardour Street, London, for 'several pieces of old carved wood' in May 1821, some of which were probably used by Winn to reconstruct parts of the interior of Wragby Church. Swaby made frequent buying trips to the Continent, and may well have supplied Winn with pieces like NT 959707, a Continental armoire, and NT 959805, a largely 16th century French cabinet in the manner of du Cerceau. Some pieces, such as NT 959709 (a chair), NT 959708 and NT 959826 (both settles), amongst others, were obviously fabricated in the 19th century, although all such pieces at Nostell do incorporate timber from genuine pieces of early furniture. Much of the oak furniture at Nostell is typically Yorkshire in style.
Possibly purchased by Charles Winn (1795 – 1874), thence by descent and transferred from the Treasury in lieu of tax in 2007.
Westgarth 2009, M. Westgarth, 'A Biographical Register of Nineteenth Century Antique and Curiosity Dealers', Regional Furniture XXIII (2009), 1 - 205, 17, 35 - 41, 109, 131, 169 - 171, 172 & Plates 21 - 27 Raikes, 2003: S.Raikes. ““A cultivated eye for the antique”: Charles Winn and the enrichment of Nostell Priory in the nineteenth century.” Apollo 157.494 (2003): pp.3-8., 5 - 6, Figure 6