Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1600-1625 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oak, turned and joined

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Brigadier W. E. Clark CMG, DSO through Art Fund

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 58, Bromley-by-Bow Room, case FS

Object Type
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.

Physical description

Stool. Joined and turned oak. Plain rectangular tops above plain frame with shaped lower edging. Fluted tapering legs connected by plain stretchers.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1600-1625 (made)



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"

Descriptive line

English, 1600-1625, oak

Labels and date

W.46 & A-1946

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]
British Galleries:
Stools had many uses as seats and small tables. Their hard wooden seats might be softened with loose cushions. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Made in England, possibly in the south-east


British Galleries; Furniture


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.