A Rare Welsh 18th Century Joined Oak Convertible Monks Chair / Table with A Single Drawer.


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A rare Welsh 18th Century metamorphic joined oak bench / table with a single drawer. The rectangular twin plank top with shaped re-entrant corners above shaped bearers/arm rests on rising baluster turned supports. The seat above a moulded drawer with drop handle. Standing on ball turned feet. 1

height: 30 in. 76 cm. top down, width: 34.5 in. 88 cm., depth: 27.5 in. 70 cm.

Further readings and sources:

  1. Before the eighteenth century, rectangular armchairs such as these, were called “monk chairs”, from their use in monasteries.

    According to inventories, these were found in churches, convents, wealthy private houses, and even barber shops. Sometimes the arms were wide, and supported by curved or scrolled brackets.

    Two theories explained the extraordinary width of the arms of some. One is that they were used to balance cups and dishes, taking the place of tables in religious houses; the other is that they were used to support large books when monks read and wrote.

    Some chairs featured a chest under the seat and for use in bedrooms, placed close to the bed for storage.

    Source Chairs: A History, Florence de Dampierre, Abrams, New York, p. 60, 171

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