19th Century Scottish vernacular Sutherland / Caithness stick chair

19th Century Scottish vernacular Sutherland / Caithness stick chair

Code: 10341


W: 41cm (16.1")H: 74cm (29.1")D: 38cm (15")


For sale is a rare 19th Century Sutherland or Caithness crofter-made low stick chair in a beautifully simple and functional design.

- Upright primitive little crofter-made*  Sutherland chair**  in the unique Northern tradition***, two continuous back and seat supports/rails****
- Two equal and continuous branches form the back and seat supports; the back uprights slope slightly back from 90 degrees
- L-shaped one-piece ‘knees’, probably ash, dark stained/wash/patina, splits above the front legs and top cross splat to the back 
- Seat is sloped to the rear as shown in the dimensions and sits on short legs close to the ground
- Through mortise holes for all 6 back cross splats/spindles/rails/spars (one lost at the base of the back)
- Two top cross splats/spindles/rails/spars replaced as they are both rounder in profile more like a spindle and not shaved/worked like the four below which are shaped like a ribcage with crude dowel wedges in the side
- The evidence in the back rail for the top two being replaced also shows additional wedges and the second one down sits proud to the right-hand side
- Mortise holes for 4 seat cross spindles/splats/rails/spars flattened underneath two thin pine boards nailed over the top, one wider than the other, the level being roughly flush with the seat rails, these are not rebated into the seat rails they sit over the seat rails beneath.  Some of the nails used look hand-wrought square section
- The seat cross splats/spindles/rails are flattened/wider under the seat with draw knife marks
- The front seat splat/spindle/splat/rails under the pine boards are rounded and worn, noticeably more polished.  The design being reputedly for the drying of heavy woollen socks on the back of the chair or front seat rail in front of an open fire
- Each cross splat/spindle/rail/spar is then cross wedged
- Damage to the top of the left back upright
- Four simple slightly angled/splayed legs with no stretchers
- Cotton cloth washer/grommet used in leg sockets to secure the tenoned legs 
- Historic woodworm in several places (bend of knees, seat rail & seat cross splats) but not affecting utility

 *Cotton, B.D. (2008) Scottish Vernacular Furniture, Thames & Hudson Ltd.
 **Grant, I.F. (1961) Highland Folk Ways. Routledge & Kegan Paul page 171-172.
 *** Cruickshank, G. (Eds) (1988) A sense of place: Studies in Scottish local history, Chapter 15 – Ross Noble, R. ‘Chairs, stools & settles: The vernacular tradition in the highlands’.
 ****Ross Noble, R. (1987) The chairs of Sutherland and Caithness: A Northern Tradition in Highland chair-making.  The Regional Furniture Society, Vol 1.

The Orkney wrought iron cruisie lamp is not included in this listing and is for scale and context only.  These are also available from W&W Antiques.

Free delivery to the UK mainland as priced. International buyers are welcome, but please contact us prior to payment to confirm the additional packaging, insurance and shipping costs by way of acceptance to your country. Purchaser responsible for local import tariffs/fees.  If you are interested in multiple items, please contact us for combined postage.