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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1480-1520 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by A.H. Fass, Esq

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On display at Mary Newman's Cottage, Saltash, Cornwall

On loan to Mary Newman's Cottage, Saltash

Physical description

Boarded oak stool with one carved rail (its pair missing), on two supports carved at the feet with an ogee-shape. The rail (8mm thick) has shaped ends and is pierced with two semi-circles flanking a central 'keyhole' shape.

The stool originally consisted of five (one rail missng) oak boards varying in thickness. Both inward-sloping side pieces (18-20mm thick) with shaped edges that are chamfered on the inside, fit into a shallow rebate in the underside the seat board, and are cut with two deep slots to receive the front and back rails. The seat board (18-20mm thick) has a moulded edge all round, and is held with 6 dowels onto the side-pieces, effectively holding all the elements of the stool in place.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1480-1520 (made)



Materials and Techniques



Height: 53.5 cm, Width: 55.5 cm, Depth: 27.5 cm

Object history note

Given by A.H. Fass esq., Giffards Hall, Wickhambrook, Newmarket
RF 21/3972 ‘worn, damaged, and parts missing’, 'an interesting and rare example of English gothic furniture - probabably early 16th century..'.
'Purchased by the donor in Bury St Edmund’s' according to Tracy, but this detail is not recorded in the RP.
On loan to Mary Newman’s Cottage, Saltash since 1984.

All the elements of the stool appear to be of the same date, but given the inherent frailty of the design and the likely use, it seems unlikely that it can date from c1500 (as the ornament suggests), and a much later date should also be considered.

Historical context note

See also Fred Roe, A History of Oak Furniture, 1920, for similar stools

Descriptive line

English, 1480-1520, oak, 76/1553

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

Dictionary of English Furniture (Country Life 1924-7, 2nd rev. ed. 1954), Percy Macquoid and Ralph Edwards (1924-7) vol III p. 161 ‘Stools’ fig.2
Charles Tracy, English Medieval Furniture and Woodwork (London, 1988), cat. no. 325, p. 195.

'STOOL. The seat rests on two broad supports with buttressed edges and ogee-shaped openings below in front, below the seat, is a deep rail with pierced openings; a similar rail at the back is missing (PL.125)
Given By Mr A. Fass
Oak. Late 15th or early 16th century
54.6 x 55.8 x 27.8cm
Mus. No. W.95-1921
Purchased by the donor in Bury St Edmund’s.'






Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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