- Place of origin:
- Materials and Techniques:
Oak, turned and joined
- Credit Line:
Gift of Brigadier W. E. Clark CMG, DSO through The Art Fund
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
British Galleries, Room 58, Bromley-by-Bow Room, case FS
Stools were perhaps the most common form of seating and were found in large numbers in any house. Sometimes they were upholstered en suite with the bed, chairs and curtains of a bedchamber. They were, however, reserved for people lower down the hierarchy than those entitled to a chair. Randle Holme's Academy of Armory (1688) contains a table of everyday objects. They include a 'joynt stoole', made up of a wooden seat set on four legs; an ordinary stool covered with upholstery, so more expensive; and a 'turned stoole', consisting of a triangular wooden seat placed just below the tops of three rounded or turned legs.
Materials & Making
The legs of this stool are turned and decorated with grooves, made by a gouge or scraper. They are linked to each other by stretchers, whose tenons (pared-down protrusions) slot into mortises (squared holes). The rails immediately beneath the seat are slotted into a groove on the inside of the leg and held in position by dowels or wooden pegs. The seat is fixed to the frame by means of dowels.
These stools were often used with the 'drawer' table that became popular around 1600. This kind of table had leaves that could be 'drawn' or pulled out so as to expand to the required length. With such a table, a variable number of stools could be used, whereas the bench or form was of a fixed length.
Place of Origin
Materials and Techniques
Oak, turned and joined
Height: 57 cm, Width: 48.3 cm, Depth: 29.2 cm
Object history note
At one time in Horeham Hall and Debden Hall, both in Essex.
Stool, gift of Brig. Clark
Notes from R.P. 45/233
6/2/32 Minute paper, Ralph Edwards
outlines Clark's bequest proposal and reports that "the bulk" of his collection has been bought from Messrs Greenwood of Harrogate, "well known North Country dealers"
4/9/46 letter, Clark to Edwards
enclosed a list of objects available to the Museum. Among them "A pair of early 17th century oak stools with shaped underframing and tapering fluted legs. 1'10 1/2" high, the tops 1'7" x 11 1/2""
The Gift form
Lists as "English, about 1600"
English, 1600-1625, oak
Labels and date
W.46 & A-1946
PAIR OF STOOLS
ENGLISH; early 17th century
Oak, turned and carved
Such pairs are often called 'coffin stools' as they may have served to support a coffin. These examples are of exceptional elegance.
Given by Brigadier W. E. Clark, C.M.G., D.S.O. through the National Art-Collections Fund. [pre October 2000]
Stools had many uses as seats and small tables. Their hard wooden seats might be softened with loose cushions. [27/03/2003]
Made in England, possibly in the south-east
British Galleries; Furniture
Furniture and Woodwork Collection