Category: Campaign Furniture
A stained walnut Baveystock Folding Chair with reclining back.
The chair is made to adjust to 4 set positions by lifting up the arm pads whilst sat, and leaning back in the chair. There is a box under each arm which has a strong spring within it linking the front and the back of the arm. The front part of the arm has a brass plate with 4 holes to receive a brass lug to the arm pad. If the pad is lifted and so the lug removed from its locked position, you can stretch the spring by leaning back on the chair. The pad can then be dropped to fix the lug to the desired hole.
The Baveystock Chairs were advertised by the Army & Navy Club Store at the turn of 1900 amongst a variety of folding chairs. The Baveystock is a step up from most other folding chairs that had a more simple action and a less comfortable seat. The A&N CSL sold it as available in stained walnut with art tapestry, plain plush or brown canvas without padding.
We have seen other examples with an oval brass plague to the back stating 'The Baveytock, No 6787, May 20 1886, By Royal Letters Patent'. We have also seen others with a paper label. This one has a worn stamp noting 'Patent No 6787 Adjustable Chair' which suggests it was perhaps one of the earlier versions. The chair is shaped to the top to give a padded neck rest and has aesthetic moulding lines to the front edge of the wooden parts of the chair.
Ella Constance Sykes, the author of a 1898 travel book 'Through Persia On A Side-Saddle', highlighted the chair when she wrote 'Our Chairs were the Bavystock, which can be made into a lounge armchair at will, or fold up flat, and are the best all-round article for camp work that we ever came across'. The chair folds flat and, as Miss Sykes noted, is very comfortable. Leather upholstery replaced. Circa 1890.
The size to sit on is given. When folded the height extends to 41 inches with the width remaining 24 and the depth reducing to 10 inches.