Stool, Baroque, Upholstered, Oak, Ebonised, X Stretcher, Tapestry, Verdure Bird



A rare, late 17th century. 'X' stretchered, ebonised, oak stool upholstered in 17th century verdure tapestry This stool is sophisticated, elegant and refined and the flying bird on the tapestry is a charming and unusual feature. The fine turnings, and x-stretcher evolved into the design of late-17th century English furniture in response to Continental fashions. At the same time, cabinet makers responded to the fashion for expensive Oriental laquered furniture by ebonising or black-japanning beech furniture. Recipes for this using lamp-black are given in Stalker & Parker's A Treatise of Japanning & Varnishing, 1688; 'With this varnish and black mixt together varnish over your thing three times, permitting it to dry thoroughly between every turn', followed by other applications. In this case, probably due to the utalitarian nature of the stool which would have been handled a great deal the original black varnish has been rubbed away to expose the oak frame which has matured to an excellent colour and patina.

Although the upholstered seat had been introduced in the reign of Elizabeth I, it re-emerged after the Restoration as exiles sought to introduce the comfort they had experienced abroad in their homes. The form and the fact that it is upholstered, ebonised with a frame made from oak rather than beech suggests that this stool would have been made for a wealthy household . Few late-17th century upholstered stools survive, especially in this condition, largely due to the ravages of damp floors and woodworm. However the quality of this piece has probably served to protect it over the years, as it has been well cared for. It is sturdy and in usable condition, the tapestry has been recently conserved.

Upholstered in a fine piece of late 17th century, verdure tapestry, unusually, depicting a bird in flight, faced with braid and brass studs. Woven in shades of blue, green, brown and yellow. Standing on tapering legs with mushroom cappings, joined by a shaped. 'X' stretcher, with central final, on bun feet. Measures: Height 40cm, length 46m, depth 35cm Literature: The Dictionary of English Furniture (Edwards), figure 29, illustrates a similar piece.

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Height 40 cm / 15 "
Width 46 cm / 18 14"
Depth 35 cm / 14"

17th Century


circa 1690




United Kingdom

Collectors / Designers



Baroque (Of the period)




GOOD. Wear consistent with age and use.