Saturday 18 October 2014

The " Naval " Campaign Chair.

Circa 1760.

Probably my favourite design of campaign chair is a type we tend to call the " Naval " chair because we have plenty of documentary evidence of them being used on board ship and because their design is so well suited to use on ship where the decks may have to be cleared at speed. They are usually one piece except a few that have a removable seat and can fold flat in seconds. Ideal if you are heading into battle and you need space around the guns.

The earliest examples I have come across would be a set of chairs in the Great hall at Cotehele which for some reason are referred to, from memory, as the Banks chairs. They would date from the 1740s.

Second Chair from Right . Circa 1740.

This next chair is one of a pair which we underbid on this week. ( you can only go so far and sadly I didn't think we could go any further and still make a profit. ). They are the first of this period we have ever seen and can be considered very rare.

Circa 1750.

Date wise a little after this chair would be the one at the top of the page which one could imagine may date from 1800. In fact, examples of single and armchair versions of this model can be seen in Nelsons Cabin on board HMS Victory. ( Some they have are modern copies. )

Nelson's Cabin HMS Victory.

However, in Treve Rosoman's excellent article in the FHS 1997 Journal "Some Aspects of Eighteen-Century Naval Furniture" he mentions a set of this design travelling with an Admiral Boscawen on his final voyage to Canada in 1758 and another set with Admiral Paulet in the 1750's.

Another variation on the design would be this example which we have also sold.

Circa 1760.

In our last catalogue Flying The Flag we illustrated a fine example of a Hepplewhite version of this design.

Hepplewhite. Circa 1780.

The success of this design continued as we have also had examples of early 19th century versions from the Regency period.

Regency. Circa 1825.

If further proof that a great design can be timeless and also travels is the final and lastest version of the chair we have had dates to the 1930s and has a distinct Art Deco feel to it.

Anglo-Indian. Circa 1930.

By Simon Clarke.

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