James I Salisbury Oak Caqueteuse Armchair
A Salisbury caqueteuse armchair with semicircular lunette carved cresting above a raised tablet back panel with floral interlace and palmetto carving. Joined by out splayed arms with tall baluster supports above a heaxagonal seat, the lower rails with gouge carving joined by further baluster legs and plain stretchers.
This type of chair became popular in France in the second half of the 16th century but may have originated earlier in the Low Countries. The French model is lightly built and was associated with women as the perjorative name 'gossiping chair' suggests. The design was taken up in the late 16th century in Scotland and, uniquely in England, in Salisbury. In both cases the chairs were more heavily built, suggesting that the chair was no longer seen as a woman's chair, and the arm joint was with the front of the back uprights rather than a 'bird's mouth' joint with front and sides. Salisbury Museum has the two well-known caqueteuse armchairs of 1585 and 1622, both gifted by the Mayor of Old Sarum. The carved design on the panel back of this chair is almost identical to that found on a chair at Hall's Croft, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Size100cm high x 61cm wide x 35cm long
Illustrated in 'British Chairs and Seats' — Tobias Jellineck. p.108, Plate 113, Robert Spencer Collection.