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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:

    On display at Ham House, London

On loan to Ham House.

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.

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

Modifications & Wear:
The back seat rail has two splits, one is a 10cm split with signs of an old repair. The condition of this piece is questionable. 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 cm, Depth: 55 cm

Object history note

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

RP 1490/40

Descriptive line

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

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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