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A late 19th to early 20th century oak framed lady's Orkney chair.
The back is constructed from black oat straw and bent grass, bound together with cord made from twisted bent grass.
The back is almost straight before it curves smoothly out to create a comfortable supportive seat.
The chair has a drop in rush seat in an oak frame.
The Orkney chair has developed through local island tradition, most likely originating from a humble piece of furniture that the islanders could make for themselves with local materials that were readily available.
In it's very early stages the chair's design was a simple low round stool covered with straw. It was then developed into a low chair in later years by adding of a straw back around two feet in height.
This design is thought to be a practical aspect, to shelter the occupant from the cold Orkney draughts. Similar chairs can be seen in Bernard Cotton's book 'Scottish Vernacular Furniture' (pages 250-261).
The oak frame is in good condition, the straw back has some wear in places. (Circa 1890)
Height 84cm (33 inches)
Width 53.5cm (21 inches)
Depth 52cm (20 inches)
Graham Smith Antiques
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne & Wear