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image XF56
High chair, XF55, English, unknown maker, early nineteenth century modified in the twentieth century, mahogany and plywood, ©Sir John Soane's Museum, London, Photograph: Hugh Kelly.

High chair, English, unknown maker, early nineteenth century modified in the twentieth century

Mahogany and plywood

Height: 108cm
Height (to seat): 71cm
Depth: 37cm

Museum number: XF56

Curatorial note

Incorporating the frame of an early nineteenth-century stool, with two rungs front and back and one stretcher on each side. A high plywood back, arms, seat and side panels have been crudely nailed to the frame, perhaps at some time during the early twentieth century.

This strange piece seems to be the skeleton of one of Soane’s original office ‘stools covered with leather, the seats stuffed with horse,1 which has been encased in plywood. It is not known when this work was carried out, but the piece in its current form has as far as we know always been in the Student’s Room. The measurements of the original frame beneath the plywood are H: 69 cm W 27.5 cm D: 33cm with the stretchers and rungs all being 3.1cm deep.

At the time of Soane’s death there were three stools remaining in the ‘Student’s Room’.2

1 A.B. Inventory, Furniture and Fittings inventory, 1837, p. 407.
2 No photographs show this strange piece anywhere in the Museum and the recollections of staff can only place it definitely in the Student’s Room from the 1980s. However, its presence there does provide a potential link, however tenuous, to Soane’s office furniture.



If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk