Bond's Hospital, Coventry.
Fig. 290. oak stool.
Western Type. c. 1660-70.
Fig. 291. oak stool.
importance which chairs possessed in the next century. One of the great distinctions between the furniture of the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries is that in the former the stool was general and the chair exceptional, whereas in the latter, the reverse is the case. The eighteenth-century stool is always in the nature of a supernumerary piece of furniture.
These oak stools have been variously described as "joint-stools," and even, lugubriously, as "coffin-stools." They were, really, the guest-seats at table, and in many cases they were exactly proportioned so as to fit between the framing and the stretcher-rail of tables, and were evidently intended to be so stacked away when not in use. Low stools, for the use of children, were also made in numbers, sometimes fitted with a box below the seat as in Fig. 284. These low stools sometimes had the centre Fjoi 293 of the top cut out with a hand-hole, so that they oak stool. could be readily lifted and carried from place
Midland Type. tfJ place.
w. smediey Aston, Esq. The stools shown in these pages have not been
arranged in chronological order, and only approximate dates, namely, those of the inception of turned leg fashions, can be ventured.
The one drawback to the arranging of English furniture into types such as chairs, tables, chests, and the like, is that pieces which bridge these categories are difficult to include. Thus Fig. 286 here is really a stool-table, and we have already had examples of table-chairs in this chapter.
Two interesting examples of cupboard stools are given here in Figs. 294 and 295 as a conclusion to this chapter. Their periods are uncertain, but the first is not later than the close of the sixteenth century (and even then, is copied from a still earlier type), while the second dates from the last quarter of the seventeenth. Both are instructive in showing these bridge-pieces which were made during a space of over a
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