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Hooded chair
  • Hooded chair
    Kirkness, David, born 1855 - died 1936
  • Enlarge image

Hooded chair

  • Place of origin:

    Orkney (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1890 - 1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Kirkness, David, born 1855 - died 1936 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Back: straw (probably black oat) sewn with bent grass. Seat: rush over pine. Handle: cast brass

  • Museum number:

    W.1-2012

  • Gallery location:

    Furniture, Room 133, The Dr Susan Weber Gallery, case BY3, shelf EXP []

This hooded chair was almost certainly made in Kirkwall by David Kirkness. The hooded chair was the most expensive of Kirkness's four chair types. The box beneath the seat, sometimes with a plain panel instead of a drawer, was seen in many Orkney chairs in the nineteenth century, but the hooded top was more unusual.

Originally designed to offer warmth, the hooded chair appealed to turn-of-the-century romanticism about the Scottish Islands as much as practical utility. This chair was one of a pair that belonged to the Welsh painter Augustus John (1878-1961). When acquired by the museum its drawer contained Volume II of Songs of the Hebrides, a song book published in 1917, further emphasising the chair's romantic associations.

Physical description

Orkney hooded armchair. The back of the chair consists of straw, probably black oat, sewn with bent grass. The seat is rush over pine and the handle is made of cast brass.

Place of Origin

Orkney (made)

Date

ca. 1890 - 1900 (made)

Artist/maker

Kirkness, David, born 1855 - died 1936 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Back: straw (probably black oat) sewn with bent grass. Seat: rush over pine. Handle: cast brass

Dimensions

Height: 149.5 cm, Width: 63.8 cm, Depth: 58.8 cm

Object history note

Formerly owned by the painter Augustus John.

Descriptive line

Orkney hooded armchair, white pine and straw sewn with bent grass and rush, probably by David Kirkness, Orkney, ca. 1900 - 1920

Labels and date

'Hooded Chair'
1890s
Designed and almost certainly made by David Kirkness (1855 - 1936)

Orkney Islands (Kirkwall)
Made before 1936

Frame: white pine
Back: straw (probably black oat) sewn with bent grass
Seat: rush over pine
Handle: cast brass

Formerly owned by the painter Augustus John

Museum no. W.1-2012

This was the most expensive of Kirkness's four chair types. The box beneath the seat, sometimes with a plain panel instead of a drawer, was seen in many Orkney chairs in the 19th century, but the hooded top was more unusual.

Designed to offer warmth, the hooded chair appealed to turn-of-the-century romanticism about the Scottish Islands as much as practical utility. [01/12/2012]

Materials

Straw; Grass; Rush; Pine; Brass

Techniques

Sewing; Casting

Categories

Scotland; Furniture

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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