Fig. 319. Walnut Settee. - Showing the square-sectioned or "thermed" type of "bun" feet. - C. 1695. C. H. F. Kinderman, Esq.
Fig. 320. Walnut Chair. - The aristocratic type of 1685-89. - Frank Green, Esq. II. - 2 G
Fig. 321. Walnut Chair. - Height, 3 ft. Si ins.; width, 1 ft. 5 ins.; to seat, 1 ft. 7 1/2 ins. - The crude, or so-called provincial type.
Fig. 323. Walnut Arm-Chair. - (One of a pair.) Date about 1685.
Fig. 322. Walnut Arm-Chair. - 4 ft. 8 ins., floor to top of back. - 1 ft. 10 1/2 ins., width across front of seat. - Date about 1688. - C. H. F. Kinderman, Esq.
There is, of course, a strong probability that many chair-makers may have refused to adopt this method of dowelling on a back-cresting. Thus Fig. 312 has the early style of back as far as this constructional method is concerned, but the seat-frame is no longer fixed between the projecting squares of the front legs, as in Fig. 300, but is spiked on them, the legs being turned without squares and with a pin at the top to secure the frame of the seat. That this is bad construction is unquestionable; a chair has not only to support the weight of a sitter; it must also withstand the lateral strain on seat and back which is exercised when a person braces himself, as in the act, for example, of pushing the chair back while sitting in it, or in tilting the front legs from the floor. How great this strain is, especially when the back feet stand firmly, only a maker of chairs really appreciates. It would be fatal to one constructed in the manner of Fig. 312, and it will be noticed, when examining these James II chairs, that they have, almost invariably, been repaired, not on one, but on many occasions. They are examples of constructive principles sacrificed to design.
Fig. 324. Walnut Arm-Chair. - Messrs. Gregory and Co. - C. 1690.
Fig. 325. Walnut Arm-Chair. - Bond's Hospital, Coventry.
Very effective use was made of the Flemish C-scroll after about 1680, as in the arm and small chairs from Lyme Park, Figs. 313 and 314, two fine examples, of high quality and choice designing, of the last Restoration years. The present stamped velvet, with which they are upholstered, is a mid-nineteenth-century addition. Fig. 315 shows the original finish of seat and back, and the lavish use of the C-scroll. The front stretcher of this chair introduces another foreign detail, that of the Dutch-Spanish bow, which we shall see further elaborated at a later stage. Fig. 316 has this bowed stretcher, in developed form, together with the ornate back which was becoming fashionable at the close of the reign of James II. The scrolled front legs of this chair are in the true Dutch manner of 1690 (which is about its date) used in conjunction with the earlier C-scrolling, a motive which was afterwards modified and adopted by Thomas Chippendale, and became the design-basis of his Rococo manner.
Fig. 326. Walnut Arm-Chair. - Showing combination of Flemish curves and Spanish hooped stretcher. - C. 1690-5. C. H. F. Kinderman, Esq.
Fig. 327. Beech Chair, Painted And Gilt. - 4 ft. 2 ins. floor to top of back; 2 ft. 3 1/2 ins. across front of seat.; 1 ft. 5 1/2 ins. floor to top of seat. - Date 1670-5. R. Eden Dickson, Esq.
It may have been remarked, in the foregoing illustration, that a chair with arms permitted of a better form of construction than one without, by reason of the fact that the arm-balusters, prolonged above the seat to the arms, braced the seat-framing firmly together. The Stuart oak chair provided a stout framing between the legs at the top, into which the seat panel, - nearly always solid, - was grooved. When constructional principles are sacrificed, it is nearly always an indication of a late and decadent fashion. Even after 1680 some attempts appear to have been made to retain the maximum of strength which the new mode would allow, as in the chair, Fig. 317, where the balusters and legs are effectively turned, and strongly tied with stretcher-rails, and the back-framing tenoned between the uprights in the early logical manner. A defined fashion appears to have existed for this revival of turning, as in the large arm-chair, Fig. 318, and the settee, Fig. 319. Both have the late detail of the flattened foot, in the first turned, but in the second square-moulded and carved, whereas in Fig. 317 the scrolled foot is of Spanish or Portuguese importation, often referred to as the "Braganza foot," a compliment to the Queen Consort of Charles II. Other details of Portuguese origin were introduced at this period, which will be indicated in later illustrations. One of these, the Portuguese bulb, can be seen, in embryonic form, in the stretcher-railing of Fig. 318.
Fig. 328. Persian Carpet (Ispahan). - The type which was sparingly imported into England in the seventeenth century. - Mid-sixteenth century.
Fig. 329. A Section Of The Carpet, Fig. 328, Showing The Design.