Skip Navigation|


exhibition number: Displays 17

Ash with Oak seat. Chairs consisting of turned posts and spindles appear in12th century manuscripts. More elaborate forms date from the 17th century.Found across Britain, the main area of production seems to have been East Anglia.

This type of turnery was produced as a direct result of a dispute between the Guild of Furniture Makers and the Guild of Turners. The former claimed that the later had no right to manufacture complete pieces of furniture. The turners set out to prove that they had the right within their own Guild to construct complete items using their own skills. The seat would originally have held a cushion.

The label on base of seat reads: 'This gothic chair about 1450, formed one of a set in the banqueting hall at Raglan Castle up to the time of its becoming disused as a residence; was then removed to Troy House, and thence to Badmington, never having left the possession of the Beaufort Family until purchased by me from his Grace the Duke, May 1909'. Signed W.E.Mallett.

The date is extremely unlikely. The bottom of the legs are almost perfectly flat and cannot have been standing on various surfaces for over 500 years. One shows saw marks, and the others show turning marks as well as the central hole for holding them in a lathe (i.e. they have not been re-cut since they were turned). The general excellent condition also suggests a 19th century date.

On loan from the Museum of Welsh Life, St. Fagans, 67.256