An important, early-17th century, carved, oak armchair

September 18, 2019 2:37 pm Published by

An important, early-17th century, carved, oak armchair. The shaped cresting with minor losses, and carved with the tree of life. The finials removed from the top of the back uprights, one with a repair to a break, carved with guilloche decoration above the arms and stylised carving below. The back panel carved with a strapwork design centred around four hearts, and inscised patterns, with nulling below. The top of the scroll arms decorated with incised wavy lines, and supported by baluster turnings joined to the seat with a repair around the left turning and a small patch in the front edge. The seat rails carved with nulling. The baluster-turned legs joined by square, moulded stretchers. Excellent colour and patina. English, probably Yorkshire or Lancashire, second quarter of the 17th century. 50581088

This magnificent chair has survived in remarkable condition. There is much evidence of use, in the knibbling throughout the body, the knife marks and wear to the incising on the arms, and the wear on the front seat rail corresponding with that on the lower stretcher where feet have rested from cold, draughty stone floors. The graduations of colour and patina are consistent with the physical contact and use of the chair, evolving into a subtle characteristic in their own right. The quality of the carved decoration is exceptional. The tree of life, strapwork, guilloche and nulling were all fashionable designs of the time. There is much symbolism in the decoration, such as the tree of life and the four hearts at the centre of the strapwork decoration.

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This post was written by joecollinson