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Bedford Regt. Mess Chair

SOLD

Reference
6188
Height
35" (89 cm)
Width
30 1/2" (77.5 cm)
Depth
40 1/4" (102 cm)
To all intents and purposes this looks simply like a very comfortable leather armchair, the type of which was to be found in many of the London gentlemen's clubs at the turn of 1900. On close inspection it can be seen that the back legs have small locating bolts and are marked. One is stamped '0 Mess, 2 / Bedf Regt', with a brass number plate to the top of I-4 and the other is marked '7417' with a brass plate noting I-3.

Aside from the Regimental markings, the locating bolts reveal that the chair is made to disassemble for ease of transport. When they are removed the back legs will unscrew on their bolts which fit through the seat frame and up into the back. The turned front legs are bolted through the frame to fix into the front of the arms. When all the legs are undone the back can be lifted up and their fixing plates freed from the corresponding fitting to the arms. The design of the breakdown of the chair is very similar to the method used by Ross of Dublin.

As the legs indicate, this campaign chair has come from the mess of the 2nd Battalion of the Bedford Regiment. There is no evidence of a broad arrow mark so presumably it was purchased by the officers. It is very likely that it was part of a set of chairs as there are very slight differences to the turning to the two front legs. One leg has a brass plate engraved I-2 and the other is worn but the digit also appears to be 2. This number doesn't fit into the sequence of the others and it is probable that the front legs are from two different chairs that have simply become mixed up when packed for travel. The Childers reforms of 1881 meant that regiments were known by their name rather than number and the aesthetic turned legs dates the chair to around this date. A very uncommon form of campaign chair. Circa 1885.
Height
35" (89 cm)
Width
30 1/2" (77.5 cm)
Depth
40 1/4" (102 cm)
Year
Circa 1885.
Medium
Leather on Beech Frame
Origin
England
Signed
0 Mess, 2 / Bedf Regt.
Style
Campaign
Exhibitions
The Quartermaster General