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English Armchair


Accession #: 1935.10.68
Date: c. 1670–1680
Owner: PMA
Artist: Unknown (carved elements initialed "RK")
Materials: Wood (walnut); cane
Dimensions: 45 11/16 x 23 5/8 x 19 11/16” (116 × 60 × 50 cm)

This English armchair is made from walnut wood and consists of carved and turned elements joined using pegged mortise and tenon joinery. The chair has a caned seat and back.

English carved and turned chairs from the late seventeenth century can be found made entirely of wood, upholstered with textiles or leather. Increasingly, following the Restoration (1660), chairs were also manufactured with seats and backs made from cane, the split outer skin of the rattan palm (Calamus rotang). English cane chairs were used domestically and also exported, especially to countries with warm weather where wool or leather seats would be uncomfortable. Both the craft tradition and material used for caning were of Asian origin. Cane chair manufacture in England was centered in London, because it was both the port of import for raw cane material from Asia and the port of export for caned chairs to other parts of the world.  


Before treatment, the armchair was generally structurally stable with normal signs of age and wear, including repairs and refinishing. There was a small area of damage to the caning on the proper right back panel. Treatment of the chair involved reintegrating detached fragments and filling losses using imitation cane made from mat board.   

View examination and treatment report HERE

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