Walnut X-frame chair with caned back and upholstered seat.

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Walnut X-frame chair with caned back and upholstered seat.




A walnut X-frame chair with caned back and upholstered seat, painted black, red and gold.

Full Description

This walnut chair has a caned back with a moulded arched frame, with the top of the arch dipped. The back posts rise from the back X-frame legs, which are plain, squared and shaped to match the front legs, although they terminate in simple vertical strut feet. The unusually slender arms are down-swept to meet the front supports, which are extensions of the X frame below. The front X-frame legs are moulded and curved and terminate in broken scrolls and scrolled feet. There is a turned H-form stretcher with squared blocks at the side joints. There is a further stretcher in the form of a plain dowel from front to back at the point where the X frames cross. The chair has been painted black, with later decoration in red and gold. The upholstered seat is set within the curve of the X-frame, resulting is a very deep cushion, covered in green velvet with fringing, all of which is modern and in a decayed state. The chair frame is stamped TB under the lower back rail.

X-frame chairs are known to have been made in Ancient Egypt and Rome and they were revived in medieval times as chairs of high status. They were made as folding chairs, which allowed them to be transported easily, but this requirement had faded away by the 17th century and the frames of later chairs were fixed, as in this case. This chair appears to date from around 1700 and has survived in relatively complete and original condition, although it has undergone 19th century restoration and has been painted. It was bought by Parkers and subsequently copied for a commission from Cunard.


The black painted finish was probably applied in the early 19th century, and further paint in red and gold was added in the early 20th century.
The H-stretchers were replaced in the early 19th century.
The left scroll foot has been replaced.
The upholstery and covers were replaced in the early 20th century.
The cane in the back appears to be original, and is damaged.



Physical Dimensions

H. 102
W. 61
D. 58


Stamped ‘TB’ under the lower back rail, presumably the maker’s initials.

Parker Numbers



Purchased by Frederick Parker & Sons, 17th May 1928, after the BADA exhibition at Grafton Galleries, from Burton £45.0.0. Provenance Furness Abbey.


For comparable X-frame chairs see FPF026, 377 and 467.
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