JGW- Published papers          
Art Furniture Art & Antique Market Law Enforcement Insuance Industry Resume
IOW Furniture makers 1750 and 1850          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regional Furniture

 

Treasure Island

 

 

 

 

 

Illustration from the Vectis Directory 1839

Believed to printed by the advertiser

C Crook of Newport

Published by William Lambert

 


Regional Furniture

 

The discussion relates to furniture makers based on the Isle of Wight focusing on the period between 1750 and 1850. The related research refers to the build environment influences, the geography, nature resources and the surroundings[i].

 

The choice of period was to exclude the huge amount of material that in the main relates to the Victorian era. The majority of photographic[1] data focuses on Queen Victoria as the subject rather than any information concerning her surroundings. In addition to the area being an Island, often classed as a backwater, therefore a similar environment to the vernacular furniture research in remote sections of Wales[2]. This considered and under the assumption of its apparent remoteness the area would not be subject to aesthetic influences from outside the region.

 

Publications tend to sweep away the South East[3] of England for further investigation into vernacular furniture on the theory that High Wycombe[ii] and other mass producer’s supplier the area[4]. Investigations into known published works relating to the furnishings of properties based on the Isle of Wight were not found.[5] There is a local Historical Society and a well-networked group of genealogy researchers whom are gathering images in a variety of formats along with computerising local records. Neither has come across this subject matter previously their archives do not contain information relating to chairs, seating, cabinets or furniture pieces of makers. The local council museum curators and those based at English Heritage sites[6] verbally stated there was no Island made furniture within their collections.

 

The geography of the area contains a number of destroyed Ancient and coppice woods[7] and Reed beds the mixture of components discussed in regional furniture publications.[8] The relevant skills were also available, the main employment and land ownership relating to agriculture and therefore the skill in the creation of hurdles[9]. A number of the population involved in carpentry though sometimes in basic terms[10] and others connected to the production of small wooden craft for fishing. The closeness to Portsmouth a naval dockyard of some prominence[11] provided employment there or as a ships carpenter at sea.

 

The Isle of Wight separated from the mainland appears to have all the components identified in regional furniture books and publications, Cottons Regional Chair and Regional Furniture Society. Prior to the stripping of Oak on the Island and New Forrest, it would be reasonable to assume that the Island could support the construction of what is sometimes termed as medieval furniture. The abundance of reed beds[12] boded well for the 18th century innovation of the woven reed or rush seat[13] offering more comfort to the sitter.

 

The abundance of materials, skills and remoteness should provide the historian or furniture researcher with a wide cross selection of physical pieces to inspect and investigate further. However not one piece of cased or seating furniture has come to light[iii]. From the lack of a physical piece or pieces there can be a number of assumptions made. A major catastrophe occurred of which none are recorded with the exception of the plague in 1584.[14] That furniture was only imported and perhaps repaired on the Island. Indications in documents relating to the Oglander family[15] of Nunwell[16], Little Appley imply that furniture was brought[17] in London and transported to the Island. Regular ferry services to and from the Island from Lymington to Yarmouth[18] started towards the end of the 1700’s, the Portsmouth to Ryde route was in service when Victoria resided or visited on the Island[19]. Red Funnel as a company established the Southampton to Cowes route in 1861.[20]

 

Another assumption could be made that the demand for furniture could not support any form of activity within furniture manufacture[21]. The poor reforms and previously the Heath tax provides without conformation that the majority residence were certainly not aspiring and often below a reasonable standard of living confirmed by the introduction of the Poor law in the 19th century[22].

 


However, the County records office microfiche information for the period 1750 to the early 1800’s showing trade at death. Combined with Piggott’s directory 1844 (38) and the Vectis trade directory of 1839 (3)[23]. The Apprentices records for Newport borough until 1805 (24 under 19 masters) all having being cross referred to the Dictionary of English furniture makers 1660-1840 (25, 17 cross refer to another source) provides ninety five records[24] of activity either as a cabinet maker (33), chair makers (9), turners (6), clock and watch makers (13) the balance are shown as a mixture of trades. Including carpenters, wheelwrights, paperhangers, furniture brokers and other related trades[25].

 

The inspection of Wills, indentures and other documents at death produced no list of trading stock, incomplete work, bills of sales or list of tools or drawings of any form.[26] Clock makers records were viewed to locate invoices from cabinetmakers or carpenters, to date none have been found. A variety of responses returned none of which knew of a physical piece of furniture that had some reference to an Island maker. Even in 1905 there was difficulty in tracking down I.W furniture.

Image 2[27]

"…..and so form a back ground for furniture etc. I believe Col. Moreton has a Cromwelliam table from Yaverland Manor House and if I could get him to lend that one could put "pottery and pewter exhibit" on it. I hope to be able to get together some bona fide I.W. furniture. Your assistance would be gratefully received"[28][iv]

 

No reply was found or reference to the display of antiques and art. It does promote the question to if Percy Stone is the designer of the furniture for Wolverton Manor and installed in 1905.

 

Investigations into the lack of physical presence could lead to a number of routes. Thought advertised and listed as some form of furniture maker the incidental trade of these known makers whom traded in other areas. Marvin of Cowes advertises as a cabinetmaker, upholsterer, Undertaker, Appraiser and Auctioneer as well as offering “Yachts fitted in the first-rate style on the shortest notice.” Implying that there may be a lack of work in his primary role. Bayley of Shooters Hill, Cowes advertised as Auctioneer, Appraiser, Upholsterer, cabinetmaker, undertaker and  “paper hanger”. Wyatt of Cowes similar to Bayley and even C Crook of Newport offered undertaking and paper hanging[29]. Without Will’s including values, deeds or other documents available to view no conclusion can be drawn from this. Except for those listed in the Dictionary of English makers 1660-1840 and show reference to the insurance value that may decrease or increase dependant on the volume of trade.

 

The research found a number of cross references in the Dictionary of English furniture 1660-1840 that provides brief insurance details and other financial information. The one listed bill shows details of work by Joepsh Richards jnr of Cowes confirms the theory of repair work[30]. John Love a cabinetmaker of Newport traded from 1802-1830, insuring a number of workshops and his dwellings for £1,249 in total. In addition, he purchased a number of properties showing either a profitable employ or perhaps the benefits from a Will. William Rayner or Rainer chair maker took insurance in 1777 for £200 and is shown to be trading in 1839.

 

Further evidence of some financial gain though not founded is the take up of apprentices. Often the Borough of Newport would pay the master for taking on apprentices, the sums vary between £5 and £12 pounds[31] no conformation of this financial benefit is shown. Twenty-four apprentices under nineteen masters, Silverlock & Silverlock the younger[32] (4), Baker (3), Rainer or Rayner (3), Harrison (2), Tayler (2), Unknown master (2) and the balance only took one apprentice. Below are trade adverts taken from the Vectis Directory, 1839.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second theory on the lack of physical evidence was not found in the County records office but in a number of local publications. A fair number of the properties run by gentry seemingly of notable wealth[33], now in complete or part decline were rented to the occupants of long term lets for a term of one or two years or more[34]. An amount of these properties were furnished or used as a retreat with little furniture except for a bed and the basics. To this end the tenant would not furnish due to the cost and the problem of disposal after vacating the property[35]. The owner would have rented it due to lack of use or for additional income without lowering his return. These rent agreements often appear as letters of agreement rather than legal documents or a simple gentleman’s agreement on perhaps a handshake.

The rental assumption could be the reason for the number of appraisers and auctioneers whom have secondary functions such as cabinet making. The Vectis directory of 1839 and Piggott’s of 1844 displays a high number of carriers and movers that promotes this activity further as an option. This area of investigation has not been pursued to provide a calculation of the volume of furniture moved, or transferred from areas outside of the Island. Certainly it would provide an insight into the larger households purchases such as the comments from Oglander of Little Appley, Ryde.

 

“Nunwell is to have new furniture in the spring from Tappell and Holland, for the drawing and breakfast room. One of the partners a young Mr. Holland much admired the old furniture of Nunwell. Long description of fabrics to be used, i.e. wallpapers and carpets.”[36]

Image 3[37]                                                                                 Image 4[38]

Mr Holland of perhaps Taprell, Stephen & Holland, William of London cabinetmakers and Upholsterers, chair and sofa manufactures.[39] Chippendale Thomas snr supplied eight library chairs to Sir Richard Worsely of Appuldurcombe house, paying £2,638 in 1776-78[40]. Chippendale jnr supplied furniture to Worsely’s town house Stratford place in 1776-78. The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s director has to also take its place as an influence. Increasing external influences brought to the Island, previously discussed was the availability of frequent cross Solent travel at the time. Though not directly linked to furniture, vernacular architecture plays a prominent part in the asesthic appeal, size and association of furniture. The assumption that the Island was separate is completely destroyed by the fact that John Nash and James Wyatt were active of the Island.

 

Nash not only lived here but also commuted regularly to the mainland whilst assisting or designing complete structures.[41] The buildings attributed to him on the Island are numerous and contain a multitude of styles Gothic, Palladian, Rustic and Norman all of which must have inspired the locals no matter their trade. These buildings are the subject of engravings from Brannon, Cooke and Barber in the early part of the 19th century.

 

James Wyatt of Salisbury cathedral and Wilton house fame also overviewed projects on the Island including Norris Castle in 1799.

 

The Pulpit in St Thomas’s church was designed and created “by Thomas Caper, reported to have come from Salisbury”[42] in 1631 as a gift from the mayor of Newport, Stephen Marsh.

 

A collection of documents relating to a house know as Fernhill which is now derelict provides an insight in the style available to landed gentry at Samuel Shute’s death in 1806. Elegant japanned 4 post state bedstead with handsome chintz furniture, a number of large (27ft by 19ft the smallest of three) Persian and Brussels carpets, several four-poster bedsteads.[43] His coffin £15 10s was made by a James Chiverton whom carried out carpentry repairs at the house costing over £70.[44]

 

The research and lack of physical evidence leads the reader to assume no furniture was actually made on the Isle of Wight. A suggestion prompted by many of the curators and historians questioned, some adding the word ‘notable’ as a disclaimer. Rural life was far different from those houses previously mention as the following extract from a Will of John Rawlings of Style House who died in 1614.

 

“The main room, used for living and eating, was the hall. Here stood a framed ‘Table-bord’, made with legs and stretchers, which replaced the trestle of earlier times. Beside it was a form, which with stools, was the usual, eating seating in all the houses. There was also a side table and two chairs. These were the only chairs in the house and have been used exclusively by the master and mistress…”[45]

 

Though the description is limited there is a clear divide between two types of rural furniture. The associated text implies that the owner was of reasonable means. The table described legs and stretchers of framed form replacing the simpler trestle table, or board supported. The separation of the side table and two chairs adds further detail to this small dwelling and implies some form of joinery or carpentry was performed as opposed to the simpler trestle table, forms and stools. These could have been made by the owner/tenant. The inventory continues with a four-poster bed and truckle bed and a third bed, three coffers that contained linen and clothing. The additional notes show the hall floor was formed from wide oak panels, the structure of four rooms, Hall, Kitchen, Bedroom/chamber and a buttery a design not dissimilar to other properties found in the project[46].

 

The book contains other built environment details such as doors, hinges and locks that a small amount of comparison to other regions has been done. The same can be said of the fixtures such as staircases and Newel post designs[47]. No real conclusions can be drawn from these comparisons, as in the main they are logic solutions to perform either a structural role or an opening device. The more unusual style of the Cockhead hinge is found on many vernacular websites relating to the South West and as far north as Lancaster. Other simple hinges and door openings are as wide spread across all regions in Britain and as far a field as North America[48].

 

Modern developments

Some of the investigation involved discussions with ex-workers and there use of bent woods from factories of the World War II period.  Many industrialists use the already formed manufacturing processes created to produce products for an expanding population and refurbishment of houses[49]. The quest to see if the Bentwood technology was used to replicate the pieces that had been developed in Northern Europe by Bidiemer and other manufactures. The results found that only Saunders Row manufactured a vegetable storage tray[50] and that furniture had been created but only for internal use, none of which is available today.

 

Conclusion

The research provides a volume of information to the influences from outside of the region and could indicate that no furniture was physically made within the area. A huge number of documents and correspondence have been reviewed to locate a reference to furniture being purchased from a local maker. The known fact that gentry maintained quality furnishings in the presentation rooms, whilst servants often had the use of vernacular furniture should raise some form of documentation to the purchases of servant’s furniture.

 

The research provided a reasonable level of the higher quality furnishings made by Chippendale and other London suppliers. It is therefore clear that the original assumption of the insular community without influence is completely unfounded. The quest or hunt for a physical piece of the much-treasured chair, cabinet or cased furniture made locally has drawn a complete blank.

 

The awareness of this local industry was exceedingly low at the start of the research project. The contact made and the general awareness to the lack of information and physical presents has gathered memento. A web page providing details of the research and the genealogical findings was created and will remain available. On the expectation that in the near future further information will become available and added.

 


Bibliography

Basford V. Historic Parks & Gardens of the Isle of Wight. Freshwater: 1989.

Beard G. Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840. Leeds: 1986.

Brinton M. Farmhouses & Cottages of the Isle of Wight. Newport: 1987. First Edition.

Chinnery V. Oak Furniture The British Tradition. Wooodbride: 1979, reprinted 2002.

Cotton B.D. The English Regional Chair. Woodbridge: 1990, reprinted 1997.

Couling D. An Isle of Wight Camera 1856-1914. Wimborne: 1978, reprinted 1989.

Edwards R. The Dictionary of English Furniture Vol 1-3. New York: Second revised edition 1954, reprint 1999,2000.

Hamlyn P. World Furniture. London: 1965.

Gosden H. A History of Wootton Bridge – Part Four – Fernhill. Newport: 2000.

Payne C. Sotheby’s Concise Encyclopedia of Furniture. London: 1989.

Strange T.A. English Furniture, decoration woodwork and allied arts. London: 1995.

SummersonJ. The Life and Work of JOHN NASH Architect. London: 1980.

Thornton P. Form & Decoration innovation in the decorative arts 1470-1870. Great Britain: 1998.

Wilk C. Western Furniture 1350 to the present day. London: 1996.

Winter C.W.R. The Manor Houses of the Isle of Wight. Wimborne: 1984

 

Journals & Other printed materials

Crook C. The Vectis Trade Directory. Newport: 1839.

Ednay P. Newport in Times Past. : 1993.

Greening B. An Every Day Story of Country Folk. :Library date 2001.

Leppard M. A History Newport (IW) Parish Church. : 1975.

Pigot And Co.’s National and commercial Directory and topography of 1844 All towns on the Isle of Wight. By on line access. www.historicaldirectories.org run by University of Leicester

Ruffell P.D.D. The Hearth Tax returns of the Isle of Wight 1664 to 1674. Isle of Wight County Records office: 1981.

Tennant C. St. James’s Church – East Cowes. :1988. Second edition.

Wilson D.G. Fernhill – A short History. : 1977.

 

Not listed but researched.

85 Trade catalogues and guides relating to the Isle of Wight post 1850. Newport reference library closed section.

Numerous Will’s, Deeds and documents available on microfiche. County Records office Newport, Isle of Wight

 

Websites

www.A2a.org.uk  Access to Archives

www.carisbrookecastlemuseum.org.uk/collections.shtml Carisbrooke Castle collections page

www.hmc.gov.uk/nra/searches/ Historical Manuscripts Commission

http://freespace.virgin.net/roger.hewitt/iwias/history.htm Chronological history of the Isle of Wight. Mr Roger Hewitt is a well-reputed Island Historian

 

Numerous other sites were viewed during the research

 

 

 



[1] This being amplified by the Margaret Cameron’s collections

[2] The discoveries in remote area of Wales show a almost pure vernacular self evolution

[3] From Dorset to Kent and North to Guildford.

[4] Cotton’s Regional chair includes the midlands.

[5] Internet research and local long established bookshops, historians and researchers questioned can be quoted as saying “I have never seen a book on furniture” when asked if they have knowledge of publications.

[6] Custodians of a number of Isle of Wight Properties including Osborne House, all clearly stated, “That they have no furniture made by Island makers”. Contact was also made with Carisbrooke Castle, which houses more of the vernacular artefacts.

[7] Informal interviews with Forestry commission employees imply that the Islands wood were subjected to the same stripping as the New Forrest to supply timber for the Naval from the late 17th century.

[8] See Regional Furniture, Oak a History

[9] p14, Cotton B.D. The English Regional Chair. “..techniques,which had been practiced for centuries in other coppice crafts, particually in the production of cleft ash and chestnut fence hurdles.”

[10] The antiquity of bookstools in the present context may be demonstrated graphically.. …Most were fairly crude and serviceable items, made by carpenters and turners, which cannot be expected to have survived….Plain and turned ‘matted’ chairs of this type were produced consistently for a cheap market by turners and other woodland craftsmen”  p277. Chimnery V. Oak furniture The British tradition.

[11] “The timber requirements of the Navy dominate the Forest; a rolling programme of plantation is introduced by the Crown which compromises the requirements of the Commoners;” This demand declined by 1875. http://www.hants.gov.uk/newforest/history/hisintro.html

[12] The commonly found Brannon’s prints displaying Wootton, Yarmouth and parts of Brading haven clearly show that reeds were available in the area,

[13] “In contrast the largest group of chairs made for common use during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were rush seated”.p13 Cotton B.D. The English Regional Chair

[14] Refer to Heath tax for plague dates

[15] One of the most written about and well referenced families on the Island

[16] The house dates back to before Charles II and his imprisonment at Carisbrooke Castle

[17] No purchase receipts have been located. Evidence from the County records office

[18] From as early as 1796, ferries have been operating across the Solent, linking the Isle of Wight to the mainland. http://www.wightlink.co.uk/aboutus/introduction.htm

[19] Victoria arrived at Ryde and travelled by road to East Cowes, evidence the naming of roads such as Queen’s Road and the high number of properties on route with observation towers that have there sea view obscured by nature on man made structures.

[20] The Company was founded in 1861 from a merger between two competing Solent ferry operators and was renamed the Southampton Isle of Wight and South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Public Limited Company or Red Funnel for short. http://www.redfunnel.co.uk/corporate/

[21] The population was 18,700 in 1771. By 1801 the population reached 23,687 http://freespace.virgin.net/roger.hewitt/iwias/history.htm

[22] 1836. http://freespace.virgin.net/roger.hewitt/iwias/history.htm

[23] The title page displays and advert from C Crook who wrote the opening page. The competition factor may have affected other traders from advertising. Noting that Crook was the only furniture related advertiser in Newport the others are based in Cowes.

[24] Twenty-four of the records are of apprenticeships taken until 1805. Two of which are listed in the Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840.

[25] Attached appendix of furniture makers and related trades listed in Piggott 1844, Apprentices of Newport borough, Vectis directory 1839 and at death by trade.

[26] Those inspected by microfiche, the residue are available in paper form but required an excessive workload for the available manpower at the records office. A number of the major houses still functioning today were contacted (see endnotes)

[27] p145. Winter C.W.R. The Manor Houses of the Isle of Wight.  Guildford. 1984

[28] FILE - Letter from Percy G. Stone, Merston, I.W., to John H. Oglander - ref.  OG/CC/2186C  - date: 26 January 1905. IOW county records office

[29] Advert extracts from the Vectis Trade Directory

[30] Jnr. Cowes, Cm & U (1823-39). Recorded at High St 1830-39, and also Union Rd in 1839. Submitted a bill dated 24 February and 20 August 1832 for £2 3s 5 1/2d to J S Pakington of High Park, Westwood, Droitwich Wors, for cabinet and upholstery work on board the yacht 'Liberty'. Items included a 'New Holland blind' and Repairs to mahogany sideboard' J.S. Pakington was ealier known as J.S.Russell of Powick, near Worcester and later was knighted, eventually becoming Lord Hampton [D; Worcs RO, 2309/705:380/56/iv]. The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840.

[31] These references refer to gun makers and other trades outside of those related to furniture

[32] Probably the same person

[33] “1603 Crown sales of Manors increases 'gentry' population”. http://freespace.virgin.net/roger.hewitt/iwias/history.htm

[34] 1805. Ryde attracting "genteel company . . crammed into accommodation”. http://freespace.virgin.net/roger.hewitt/iwias/history.htm

[35] The details on rental agreements are vast, in the main they refer to unfurnished accommodation.

[36] Reference: OG/CC/364, Letter from Fanny Oglander, Ryde, to her brother, Col. Henry Oglander, Meerut, India, Creation dates: 15 November 1832. IOW records office

[37] The Medieval town of Newport 1796 by John Sturch. p1 Ednay P. Newport in Times Past.

[38] p 154 Summerson J. The Life and Works of John Hash Architect. London: 1980.

[39] p871. Beard G & Gilbert C. Dictionary of British Furniture history 1660-1840. Leeds: 1986.

[40] p168 Beard G & Gilbert C. Dictionary of British Furniture history 1660-1840. Leeds: 1986.

[41] “Several houses in the Island are attributed to Nash. He certainly designed the Gothic villa for Sir John Coxe-Hippisley that is now part of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club. He built Doric ldges on his friend George Ward’s estate at Northwood Park, one of which survives.” Summerson J. The Life and Works of John Hash Architect. London: 1980.

[42] Leppard M. A History of Newport Parish Church. Isle of Wight. No prove of the existence of Carper or his origins at the time have been located.

[43] Wilson D.G. Fernhill A short story.  Wootton Bridge. Crude booklet.

[44] Pp8-10. Gosden H. A History of Wooton Bridge Part four Fernhill. 2000: Newport.

[45] P11 Brinton M. Farmhouses & Cottages of the Isle of Wight. 1987, First Edition: Newport.

[46] “The completed survey of some 4,500 buildings pre 1840…..”. p147 Brinton M. Farmhouses & Cottages of the Isle of Wight. 1987, First Edition: Newport.

[47] Pp99-112 Brinton M. Farmhouses & Cottages of the Isle of Wight. 1987, First Edition: Newport.

[48] A number of Island residents emigrated to North America and Virginia creating the Isle of Wight County. Though data is readily available this area was not researched.

[49] See control of the furniture trade 1951

[50] The information was gained through conversation and it was implied that an original is available to view.



[i] Investigation into furniture made on the Isle of Wight

The research involved local trade directors (up to 1850), Piggott’s 1844, the county records office (births, deaths, censors, apprentices agreements as well as wills and receipts), supplemented by adverts in the local newspaper the ‘Isle of Wight County press’ and the use of radio to request any owners of furniture made on the Island to come forward. The local historians and properties (manors, previously large landowners as well as those connected with notables such as Tennyson, Cameron) were also contacted either in writing or by phone. 

 

The primary target included the various curators or collection managers of local history relating to the Islands history including Carisbrooke Castle[i], Osborne House. All reported that the collection contained no known pieces made by local makers, nor that any paintings or drawings contained furniture known to be local.

 

The quest to find a piece or pictorial evidence of local attributed furniture has drawn a blank, however research led to a number of active cabinet, chair makers and turners providing evidence that furniture was made or repaired locally. Of the publications relating to regional furniture there focus in the main excludes the South East (with references to West Sussex) most have no reference to Hampshire or the Isle of Wight? The Dictionary of English Furniture makers[i] ratifies some of the data found at the Islands county record office by using insurance records as it primary information. The appendix of Isle of Wight furniture makers (95) is attached.

 

The period prior to 1910

The development of commercial cross Solent travel from the end of the 18th century and the expansion of the railways both nationally and on the Isle of Wight would contradict the implied lack of external influences from other regions after this period. Though not important in the exploring regional furniture and the individual contributions to regional to pieces characteristic such as the famous Mouseman or the inclusion of motifs religious or otherwise.

 

(Appledurcombe, Swainston Manor, Farringford, Arreton Manor, Gatcombe house to name a few) were researched and some contacted; by phone, email and in writing During this research inventories of the known major houses

 

A web page with the genealogical data and findings was request by those contacted in relation to the research and is available at.

 

http://www.woracker.plus.com/Research/ResearchHomePage.htm

 

[ii] A chair of unknown provenance

 

 This section of the image (plate 58, Couling D. An Isle of Wight Camera 1856-1914, Guildford: 1978) was taken before the fire of 1869 that completely destroyed the property ‘The Inn at Old Shanlkin’. Though this is outside of the periods being investigated it is used to demonstrate the in unbalance Cotton’s statement “. for example, in the Southern and Home counties, where Buckinghamshire Windsor chair making trade, centred in High Wycombe, supplied chairs to a wide region, and largely dominated the production of common chairs in the whole of the south of England.” Using Cotton’s own book and the array of images for comparison, the chair does not show the traits of High Wycombe in design. The close plain parallel front rails and with the other rails further apart but at equal distance is more prominent in the North East (page 238 fig EA88) and has a closer resemblance to the West Midlands. Page 300 WM33 provides an almost perfect match unfortunately the original image removes the opportunity to see the style of seat (solid or Rush) and the back is completely obscured. From further comparisons the North and North East chairs tend to have three side rails, or the two front rails are equal distance apart as with rest of the chair.

 

 

 The top turning on the backrest however does not appear in the chairs from the West Midlands and may therefore be a local trait. This may be the maker relocating from the West Midlands. Page 298 WM1 shows a different turning circa 1880.

 

The front left leg shown in cleaner detail shows the top and middle turnings not dissimilar to those on p298; plate WM25 again from the West Midlands. However the top legs turning that may be uncomfortable when mounting or dismounting the chair and again could be a local trait.

 

The fact that regular freight and passenger services were available across the Island and to the mainland also well connected to industrial Britain by rail around this time may remove the relationship of this chair to a local maker.

 

 

[iv] FILE - Letter from Percy G. Stone, Merston, I.W., to John H. Oglander - ref.  OG/CC/2186C  - date: 26 January 1905

 

"Shanklin is having an "Arts and Crafts" Exhibition, March 2, 3, 4 to be opened by H.R.H. Princess Henry of Battenburg and the Committee have asked me to undertake an "Isle of Wight" Section of objects of archaeological interest. Can you assist me? I should be obliged by the loan of anything and only suggest the parish gun and Sir John Oglander's portrait These would both be much appreciated I am sure. My idea is to get together a collection of past Island painters from Morland downwards, and so form a back ground for furniture etc. I believe Col. Moreton has a Cromwelliam table from Yaverland Manor House and if I could get him to lend that one could put "pottery and pewter exhibit" on it. I hope to be able to get together some bona fide I.W. furniture. Your assistance would be gratefully received"