Oak Naval Chair

Oak Naval Chair


This oak folding Naval Chair is a little unusual for two reasons.

The vast majority of English Naval chairs are made of mahogany whilst this is in oak. The second reason is the inset hinge to the side stretchers.

To fold the chair, the seat is lifted and the front rail of the chair can then be quickly pushed towards the back, reducing the depth of the chair. This is enabled by hinging the side rails. Typically, the hinges that connect the rails to the back legs of the chair are set directly onto a straight part of the leg and this is true of the top hinges. However, because the leg has a longer curve than most naval chairs, the bottom side rail is cut one inch from the leg and the hinge is set at that point. We have had two other similar chairs with a splayed leg of this period and the bottom stretcher has been set higher to allow the hinge to be fixed to a straight section of the leg.

The curved back panel, bar and uprights are carved with a reeded border for decoration and the chair stands well. The seat has been re-caned and the leather cushion made to add comfort.

The chair is interesting to those who study portable furniture for its slight variations on the design. The practicality of its quick folding whilst still remaining in one part made it ideal for naval use where all furniture had to be moved to ready for battle. Not only was space needed to use the cannon but if the chair was hit by enemy fire it would add to the wooden splinters that caused most of the wounds and deaths. The majority of naval chairs we find are late 18th century and so this one also stands out for its slightly later date. Circa 1825.


Height 85.5 cm / 33 34"
Width 50 cm / 19 "
Depth 48 cm / 19"

Circa 1825






Naval Furniture


Re-caned and new cushion. Some knocks / dents to seat frame.