- Materials and Techniques:
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
British Galleries, room 123, case 10
This chair was for many years thought to be a genuine 17th-century piece. However, recent examination has suggested that it was made in the 19th century, probably shortly before it was bought by a collector of antique furniture some time between 1860 and 1880. It was intended to look like a 17th-century child's chair. This is a good example of a piece of furniture made to deceive collectors of antiques.
The Museum bought the chair and other objects from the sale of the collection of the Reverend William Maskell (about 1814-1890) in 1890, after his death. Previously Mr Maskell had lent the chair, with another, to the Museum for display. The Museum also has other objects bought from Mr Maskell during his lifetime.
Design & designing
When examined closely, the proportions of the chair appear unusual: neither low enough for a child, nor high enough for a high chair. The carving in the back looks like it dates from the 19th century, particularly the straight vertical acanthus leaves running up the either side of the chair-back. Signs of distressing (intentional damage to make the chair look old) can be seen on some of the inner surfaces. The profile of the turning of the front legs suggests that the chair dates from the 1860s.
Materials and Techniques
Height: 91.4 cm, Width: 46.5 cm, Depth: 36 cm maximum, at arm level
C17 oak armchair
Labels and date
The Reverend William Maskell (about 1814-1890) was an enthusiastic collector of books, ivory carvings, furniture and other antiques. When he bought this chair, and later when the Museum acquired it from his collection, it was thought to date from 1600-1650. The expanding antiques market offered numerous opportunities for makers of reproductions and fakes. [27/03/2003]
once thought to date from 1600-1650