A rare, late-17th century, rosewood, upholstered stool. The loose, cushion, made from a modern, blue, velvet, resting on the upholstered, rectangular seat. The elegant and delicate, barley-twist, turned legs joined by similar barley-twist, turned stretchers. Standing on original toes. Fourth quarter of the 17th century. 11121620.
Although a small piece of furniture, this exquisite stool has great presence. The turnings are delicate but strong, and their simplicity shows the beauty of the rosewood grain to full advantage. Only the finest pieces of furniture were made from rosewood at this time. The height of this stool reinforces this as it also reflects the finest, Court designs of the late-17th century. This was a time when tabouret etiquette had become extremely strict, being observed in both private houses and at Court. When travelling in England in 1669, Cosmo III, Duke of Tuscany, made gracious concessions his hosts and hostesses at Wilton and Althorp by allowing for chairs (similar to his own) to be provided for them while the rest of the company sat on stools. James, Duke of York punctiliously observed the prescribed etiquette when he went to meet Catherine of Braganza on her arrival in England and was received in her cabin. He refused the chair placed for him but, on Catherine motioning to a tabouret immediately seated himself. Princess Anne in 1688 showed a similar regard for the rules of precedence. Her tabouret having been set too near Queen Mary’s chair, she declined to seat herself until it had been removed to the correct distance. These stools were generally upholstered in rich materials, such as brocade or velvet, and the padded seats trimmed with a straight fringe.
This post was written by joecollinson