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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    February 1980 (restored)
    1685-1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    John Haynes & Sons (restorers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    carved walnut, caned seat and back

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr Leslie Clarke

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Twist-turned full-height uprights to the back, with (2/4) rectangular blocks carved with a flowering stem at the joints, surmounted by carved crown finials. The back frame features punch decoration with a mix of the 9-point punch on the right side and flower punch design on the left side. The top-rail consists of ‘horsebone’ (broken scroll) scrolls and acanthus centring on a strawberry leaf crown, below which are the carved initials 'M. S. R.'
An oval cane back panel in the back, within a frame of ‘horsebone’ scrolls and rosettes. The seat is caned, the seat rails with a moulded top edge. Front legs of ‘horsebone’ (?) scroll form on pad feet, linked by a stretcher of ‘horsebone’ scrolls, centring on a crown. A rear mid-height twist-turned stretcher connects the back legs and the front and back legs are joined by an H form twist-turned stretcher. Back legs and stretchers all twist-turned, with square sections at the joints. The front legs stand 2.5cm proud of the rails and terminate in a moulded button.
Good colour without heavy staining.

The object number is found under the back rail. No stamps on the back.

Modifications & Wear (2015):
The back seat rail has two splits, one is a 10cm split with signs of an old repair. The condition of this piece at its back seat rail is poor. It is very wormy particularly on the front right leg, front stretcher, and crest rail; there is potential for breakage.

Place of Origin

England (made)


February 1980 (restored)
1685-1700 (made)


John Haynes & Sons (restorers)

Materials and Techniques

carved walnut, caned seat and back

Marks and inscriptions

carved on the top-rail


Height: 120 cm, Width: 49.5 cm, Depth: 63 cm

Object history note

Given by Mr. Leslie Clarke, 87 Belsize Park Gardens, London NW3

RP 1490/40
Returned from long loan to Ham House, March 2019.

Descriptive line

Barley twist, caned walnut chair, 1685-1700, England 'MSR'

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Adam Bowett, English Furniture 1660-1714 Charles II to Queen Anne (Woodbridge, England: Antique Collector's Club, 1988), pp 230-231. pl 8:1.

‘By 1689 the twist-turned chair was nearing the end of its fashionable life, but it survived long enough to acquire the newly-introduced oval back. This feature was first mentioned by Thomas Roberts in a bill of March 1689, and for a few years chairmakers adapted the new style of back to their twist-turned frames. 8:1 and 8:2 show two typical examples, with horsebone crest and forerails and double-scrolled fore-legs. The frames of the back panels are also carved with horsebone scrolls, which lend themselves easily to the oval shape.' p 230

Pl 8:1 caption: 'Caned chair (1685-1700), walnut. The double-scrolled legs, twist-turned frame and horsebone fore-rails all date from the 1680s, but the oval back suggest a later date, perhaps 1690. Note how the horsebone scrolls lend themselves to the shape of the back'. p 231

[This reference is for the chair with arms in the same set]

Production Note

re-caned by John Haynes & Sons




Caning; Carving


Furniture; Woodwork


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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