Suffolk Elm Country Chair
This Suffolk Elm Country Chair was acquired by us in an auction in the market town of Diss on the Suffolk / Norfolk border.
Country chairs fall into two broad categories. There are those whose design is a result of the materials available. There are also those which owe their overall design to fashions of the day.
The name Hepplewhite is often associated with East Anglia chairs. Indeed, it is easy to see the connection especially with the shape of the arm and the square back.
Like good late Georgian chairs, the front stretcher does not span between the front legs but is set back, roughly 1/3rd along the side stretchers. An apparently insignificant detail which has a significant bearing on the comfort of the chair. Its about the skill and expertise of the chair-maker. Over the years of making chairs, the maker would gradually refine and improve for his products as demand grew. But country chairs were predominantly made by local craftsmen for the local market. It is only major chair-making centres like High Wycombe that supplied country chairs to a wider, or even national market.
The three vertical slats in the back are a little out of the ordinary and four slats would be the norm.
The tradition of chair and furniture making in Suffolk continues. A number of makers across Suffolk produce chairs and other furniture.