Not currently on display at the V&A

Armchair

ca. 1860 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Only the back and seat of this chair are of wood, upholstered in green wool plush. The rest of the frame is entirely made up of stags' antlers (from two different species of deer), goat horns and boar tusks. Such furniture may seem rather gruesome to modern taste. It was extremely fashionable, however, in the years around 1850, although it must always have been very expensive and thus confined to a small market. People of the time were quite unworried about the conservation of natural species. They readily used feathers and stuffed birds for their hats and stuffed birds and animals for interior decoration, with animal-skin rugs on the floors. Furniture such as this was considered suitable for hunting lodges, where the day might be passed in stalking and shooting the same kind of deer. Such furniture was available throughout Northern Europe and in North America, but it seems to have been particularly popular in the German states. The best-known manufacturer was H. F. C. Rampendahl of Hamburg, who exhibited at several of the international exhibitions.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Antlers, horns and tusks on a wooden frame, with upholstered seat and back covered in green plush
Brief Description
Of antler, German, probably made in Hamburg by the firm of Rampendahl , 1855-60
Physical Description
Armchair made of several varieties of antlers, horns and tusks, screwed and bolted together and to a wooden frame for the upholstered seat and back
Dimensions
  • Height: 128cm
  • Width: 74cm
  • Depth: 82cm
Dimensions taken from departmental catalogue. Not checked on object
Gallery Label
  • Europe and America 1800-1900, room 101 ANTLER ARMCHAIR 1855-60 Only the back and seat of this chair are wooden. The rest of the frame is entirely made up of antlers, goat horns and boar tusks. Such furniture was considered suitable for hunting lodges, and was particularly popular in the German states around 1850-70. The best known manufacturer was H.F.C. Rampendahl, who exhibited at several of the international exhibitions. Germany, Hamburg; designed and manufactured by H.F.C. Rampendahl Antlers, horns and tusks on a wooden frame, with upholstered seat and back covered in plush (05/08/2015)
  • 'American and European Art and Design 1800-1900' Part of a suite which also includes a sofa and a second armchair, these pieces of antler furniture exemplify a widespread taste, groups being shown at both the 1851 and 1862 exhibitions.(1987-2006)
  • Europe and America 1800-1900, room 101 ANTLER ARMCHAIR 1855-60 Germany, Hamburg; designed and manufactured by H.F.C. Rampendahl Antlers, horns and tusks on a wooden frame, with upholstered seat and back covered in plush Museum no. W.2-1970 Only the back and seat of this chair are wooden. The rest of the frame is entirely made up of stags' antlers, goat horns and boar tusks. Such furniture was considered suitable for hunting lodges, and was particularly popular in the German states around 1850-70. The best known manufacturer was H.F.C. Rampendahl, who exhibited at several of the international exhibitions.(2006)
Summary
Only the back and seat of this chair are of wood, upholstered in green wool plush. The rest of the frame is entirely made up of stags' antlers (from two different species of deer), goat horns and boar tusks. Such furniture may seem rather gruesome to modern taste. It was extremely fashionable, however, in the years around 1850, although it must always have been very expensive and thus confined to a small market. People of the time were quite unworried about the conservation of natural species. They readily used feathers and stuffed birds for their hats and stuffed birds and animals for interior decoration, with animal-skin rugs on the floors. Furniture such as this was considered suitable for hunting lodges, where the day might be passed in stalking and shooting the same kind of deer. Such furniture was available throughout Northern Europe and in North America, but it seems to have been particularly popular in the German states. The best-known manufacturer was H. F. C. Rampendahl of Hamburg, who exhibited at several of the international exhibitions.
Collection
Accession Number
W.2-1970

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record createdAugust 23, 2001
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