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Antique Oak Chairs; 17th Century Dining Chairs in England

Derbyshire & Yorkshire Chairs

In the early years of the Restoration period a great number of lightly framed oak chairs from the North Country areas of England, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Lancashire were made.

Antique Oak Chair
Antique Oak Chair

These antique oak chairs of the 17th century had the distinguishing characteristics of two wide arched and carved crossrails which replaced the half paneled backs of the past. In some examples the two oak rails were connected by means of turned and arcaded supports.

Their uprights used split baluster decoration, that is, wood was decoratively turned on a pole lathe and split down the middle and then glued to the front of the uprights. Such uprights ended in usually inward scrolls.

Antique Oak Chair
Antique Oak Chair

Some antique oak dining chairs of the 17th century England were made to take squab cushions while others were upholstered in leather.

"Mortuary Chairs"

On the curved back rails was often to be found the carved figure or mask of a man said to be Charles I, deposed and executed in 1649. Hence the name mortuary chairs. The North Country of 17th century England remained mostly loyal to the Royalist cause and this may have been a curious expression of that.

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