We don’t have an image of this object online yet. V&A Images may have a photograph that we can’t show online, but it may be possible to supply one to you. Email us at vaimages@vam.ac.uk for guidance about fees and timescales, quoting the accession number: 443-1892
Find out about our images

Not currently on display at the V&A

Chair

1678 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This pattern of chair, with an open base raised on two tiers of short balusters, and a back with two tiers of arcaded ornament consisting of turned balusters, was very popular in The Netherlands in the middle of the 17th century. The artist Frans Hals (1582-1666) included one in his portrait of Willem van Heythuysen, painted in 1637-39. The use of a dense, hard, tropical timber such as rosewood, meant that the turnings could be very finely detailed and the carving carried out with great delicacy. It seems that there was a strong taste for this crowded form of decoration. Amsterdam had, from the beginning of the 17th century, been steadily growing in importance as the main port for the importation of tropical timbers. This chair is dated 1678 in the carving, but it is possible that this date was added to the chair.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Rosewood, carved and turned, and jointed
Brief Description
A chair of rosewood, with turned and carved decoration to the back, with two rows of spindles; the seat with two tiers of baluster turnings. The Netherlands, dated 1678.
Physical Description
Carved walnut chair. The back consists of two rows of carved arcades with baluster-shaped columns; above each arcade runs a band of dolphins and scrollwork, while on top is a round-headed niche enclosing a cross with a floriated scroll ending in a bird's head on either side. The upright framework and the seat are carved in oval leaf-shaped devices and strapwork. The legs are baluster-shaped, and are united by eight flat bars with plain mouldings. Dated 1678.
Dimensions
  • Height: 102.2cm
  • Width: 45cm (Note: Measurements taken from Accessions Register.)
Marks and Inscriptions
1678 (Carved)
Object history
Bought for £18 14s 6d



A chair of similar, but not identical form, is shown from the back in Gabriel Metsu's 'Woman Reading a Letter', 1665-7, in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (NGI 4537).
Summary
This pattern of chair, with an open base raised on two tiers of short balusters, and a back with two tiers of arcaded ornament consisting of turned balusters, was very popular in The Netherlands in the middle of the 17th century. The artist Frans Hals (1582-1666) included one in his portrait of Willem van Heythuysen, painted in 1637-39. The use of a dense, hard, tropical timber such as rosewood, meant that the turnings could be very finely detailed and the carving carried out with great delicacy. It seems that there was a strong taste for this crowded form of decoration. Amsterdam had, from the beginning of the 17th century, been steadily growing in importance as the main port for the importation of tropical timbers. This chair is dated 1678 in the carving, but it is possible that this date was added to the chair.
Bibliographic Reference
Esther, Singleton, The Furniture of our Forefathers. New York, Doubleday, Page & Co., 1913, illustrated by drawing reproduced on p. 16. The chair is there described as 'of walnut'.
Collection
Accession Number
443-1892

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJune 24, 2009
Record URL