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Officer's Mess Chair


Category: Archive

Subcategory: Seating

Although not made to fold or knock down in any way this chair still has a strong military connection.

The purpose of not having a left arm was to allow the chair to be used whilst wearing a sword belt. It's over size dimensions and solid character would suggest that it was either commissioned by someone of large stature or that consideration was given to its use whilst wearing full dress. The chair is made of stinkwood which is particularly resilient to pests and is indigenous to South Africa and the seat is supported by crossed leather strips which is common to chairs made in the Cape.

The National Army Museum note that chairs of this type were also made in England during the mid to late Georgian period, although usually of mahogany with cane seats. Added to this an Oxford type chair with only one arm and described as made for an Officer's mess is illustrated in The Price Guide to Antique Furniture by John Andrews, 1970.

A rare chair, all the more interesting for the fact that it is from The Cape. Mid19th century.

  • Dimensions:
    H 83cm x W 43.5cm x D 58.5cm
    H 32½" x W 17" x D 23"

  • Medium: Stinkwood
  • Country: South Africa
  • Exhibition: At Ease Gentlemen
  • Reference Number: 5814