Maker: Edward Argles
This mellow coloured mahogany Chair Bed by Edward Argles stands out from those by Thomas Butler and Morgan & Sanders for its caned back and sides, giving it more the appearance of a wide bergere chair. This is emphasised by the turned columns to the front of the arms and the decorative reeding to the edges. Certainly the solid sides of the chairs by the other two Catherine Street makers would be better in a cold climate to keep out a draft, but in a hot climate, such as India, Argles' version would be favoured. Butler described his chair beds as 'upon the most improved principle, forming a handsome easy chair, and with great ease is transformed into a Tent Bed with furniture and bedding complete'. He was right and the transformation from chair to bed is simply done. The seat of the chair is hinged to fold out in 3 sections to extend to the length of a 6ft bed. Extra legs, fitted with large brass bolts are then screwed into the end section to support the foot of the bed.
Originally this chair would have had posts that fitted to the four corners of the bed to support a canopy. For travel, each side is removed by releasing two bolts fitted from the underneath of the chair and one from the back. In removing both sides, the back also comes away reducing the size and also allowing you to use the bed without an enclosed head area.
This chair is the one illustrated in British Campaign Furniture by Brawer and has 3 replaced cushions allowing it to be used as both a chair and a bed. Circa 1813.
Chair Size is Given