19th Century Scottish vernacular Sutherland crofter made stick chair

19th Century Scottish vernacular Sutherland crofter made stick chair

Code: 10391


W: 46cm (18.1")H: 80cm (31.5")D: 45cm (17.7")

£1,950.00 Approx $2462.12, €2272.73, £1950

For sale is an early 19th Century Sutherland or Caithness crofter-made low stick chair in a beautifully simple, comfortable and functional design circa 1800-1850.

• Early 19th Century Crofter chair of museum quality and designed in a very comfortable shape.

• Primitive little crofter-made [1]  Sutherland [2] / Caithness chair  in the unique Northern tradition [3] , two continuous back and seat supports/rails [4].

• Two equal and continuous branches (likely Ash) form the back and seat supports; the back uprights slope back at a relaxed angle of circa 110 degrees.

• Laid back L-shaped one-piece ‘knees’, dark stained and with a rich patina as evidenced under the seat board, joined with pegs predominantly throughout plus old repairs as detailed and shown

• The crofter chair sits on short legs close to the ground, below the smoke in croft houses with open fires

• Through mortise holes visible in the external sides of the knees for the front and back cross seat rails/spars at the back and front of the seat plank

• The laid-back seat back has two wide but curved cross splats in a small ladder-back-esque manner as opposed to hand turned and cylindrical.  The top rail also curved has uneven ends in their shape. 

• The chair has two skilled handmade blacksmith repairs to the rear of the right upright and front of the left upright and evidence of historic woodworm to the top seat back rail

• Four quite elegant simple but slightly swept legs compliment the laid-back angle of the back rails / uprights and both the front and rear pairs of legs are strengthened by cross stretcher of cylinder from in the Caithness tradition. Reportedly flexible and of utility for drying clothing such as socks in front of an open fire hung on the back cross splats, seat front and rear rails.

• The beautiful little chair is in wonderful condition and all joints are solid and sound

• Leg sockets are secured through the continuous back and seat rails which taper from the front of the seat all the way to the top of the back and are tenoned and wedged. 

A beautiful example the Northern Tradition of Scottish chair making and of museum level quality and pleasingly  comfortable.  Ready for a new home to provide comfort and decorative utility.



[1] Cotton, B.D. (2008) Scottish Vernacular Furniture, Thames & Hudson Ltd.

[2] Grant, I.F. (1961) Highland Folk Ways. Routledge & Kegan Paul page 171-172.

[3] 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’.

[4] Ross Noble, R. (1987) The chairs of Sutherland and Caithness: A Northern Tradition in Highland chair-making.  The Regional Furniture Society, Vol 1.

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.