Beech circular stool with upholstered seat.





Beech circular stool with upholstered seat.




An ebonised beech stool with four carved and turned legs joined by cross stretchers, with a circular upholstered seat with wool cover.

Full Description

This round stool has four turned and carved beech legs of ‘horsebone’ form, joined by turned cross-stretchers. The exposed woodwork is ebonised, i.e., stained black to resemble ebony. The circular seat has a later wooden frame into which the legs are dowelled and is upholstered in modern materials with a wool cover.

The legs are late 17th century, carved in the ‘horsebone’ shape which was introduced into England around 1685. The term ‘horsebone’ is probably derived from the French os de mouton, meaning sheep-bone and used to describe a similar form of scrolled leg on French furniture of the period. This type of leg was commonly used on English caned chairs between 1690 and 1715 (Bowett, 2002). The cross stretchers appear to be of the same period. The seat frame is later, and the upholstery is modern.

Apart from joined oak stools, very few 17th century stools have survived; those with upholstery tend to be rectangular or square in shape, although a circular walnut stool with an upholstered seat is illustrated in Macqoid (see notes below). This stool is somewhat questionable; it could be a rare survivor from the 17th century, or it may have been made up in the 19th or early 20th century using four original legs. It is unusually small and it has been suggested it might have been made initially as a stand for a Chinese porcelain bowl or vase.


The legs and probably the stretchers are late 17th century.
The seat frame is later and the upholstery is 20th century.



Physical Dimensions

H. 38
W. 33
D. 33

Parker Numbers

3567. 2953.


Purchased by Frederick Parker & Sons in January 1914 for £11.0.0.


Adam Bowett, English Furniture 1660-1714, Antique Collectors Club, 2002.
Percy Macquoid, A History of English Furniture, first published 1904-8, re-published by Bracken Books, 1988, p.129, fig. 276.