Ebonised beech side chair with caned seat and back.

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Ebonised beech side chair with caned seat and back.




Ebonised beech banister-back chair with caned seat and back and cabriole front legs.

Full Description

This beech chair has a tall back with an arched, carved and pierced crest rail with scrolls at each end, fitted to the tops of banister-turned and raked back posts. Set within the back posts there is a wave-moulded oval frame which at the top forms part of the crest and at the bottom is joined to the back posts with short rails. The centre of the oval frame is fine-caned. The tapered and moulded seat frame is also fine-caned and is supported on top of the front legs, which are turned at the top and diagonally set moulded cabriole below, terminating in scrolled-over feet. The back legs are continuous with the back posts, turned and raked and with squared blocks at the joints and heels. The stretcher is H-formed, turned and with squared blocks at the joints, and there is a higher back stretcher, also turned. The caning in the back could be original, but the seat has had a seat rail replaced and the caning must have been replaced then. The ebonised finish appears to be original.
This style of chair, with the tall back, banister-turned posts, superimposed crest rail, the seat frame resting on the front legs and the early form of cabriole leg dates to around 1715-20 (Bowett, 2002). Made of beech, this would have been more affordable than a similar chair in walnut; it was stained black to give the appearance of ebony, which was in fashion at this period but was a much more expensive, imported wood. The fine caning was achieved using thinly split cane and closely set holes; it involved more work for the caner and therefore added to the cost. The initials ‘IT’ on the back post are the mark of the maker, either a journeyman or a joiner, as yet unidentified, but the chair was almost certainly made in London, since there were very few cane-chair makers outside the capital at this period (Dewing, 2008).

Like FPF032, the front legs are early examples of the cabriole form, here with a turned section above the cabriole indicating that perhaps the seat might originally have had a squab cushion with a fringe hanging over the sides. The replaced scroll feet may have been copied from FPF032, although they are not identical.


All of the legs have been re-tipped.
The top of the right back post has been replaced.
The right seat rail is replaced and the seat re-caned.
The back caning appears original.
A re-covered squab documented in the 1950s is now missing.



Physical Dimensions

H. 121
W. 49
D. 45


Stamped ‘IT’ in two places on rear of left hand back post.

Parker Numbers



Purchased by Frederick Parker & Sons, 4th April 1929, from Brackley, Brighton, £3.0.0


Adam Bowett, English Furniture 1660-1714, Antique Collectors Club, 2002, pp. 264-7.
David Dewing, Cane Chairs, Their Manufacture and Use in London, 1670-1730, Regional Furniture, Vol XXII, 2008.
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