finely carved Charles or James chairs were ever very cheap. Perhaps the reason of this was that the dealer, though not always a man of taste, did generally know the cost of labour represented by fine carving. I, personally, have bought Queen Anne and Chippendale chairs for as little as five shillings each years ago, but was never offered a carved Jacobean or Stuart chair for less than thirty-five shillings.

Of early sofas an illustration is included (Plate 70) of a Stuart piece, with an exquisitely carved front rail and the characteristic spiral struts. This sofa has a cane seat and back. Upholstery on sofas or settees and easy-chairs appears to have crept into fashion somewhat later. An illustration (Plate 71) is given of a William and Mary settee with a stuffed back. It also has a fine carved rail in the front, but this rail seems a sadly rude and degenerate one when we compare it with the rail on the Stuart sofa.

Another illustration (Plate 72), shows a Queen Anne stuffed easy-chair with wing sides, or what we call now a grandfather-chair, and this brings me down to the Chippendale period, rich in so many varied forms. First, however, I would like to point out the reasons 76

CARVED STAINED-WOOD CHAIR. Stuart period. {In the possession of J. Ashby S terry, Esq.) This chair is interesting because it has a carved wood centre panel instead of a cane one.

STAINED WOOD CHAIR, with single cane panel. Stuart period. (I?i the possession of f. Ashby Sterry, Esq.) This chair is much spoilt in appearance by the stuffed seat. It would have a cane seat in its original condition, and, indeed, the cane still exists under the stuffing.

WALNUT-WOOD CHAIR. (In the possession of J. Ashby Sterry, Esq.) This is a beautiful specimen of the cane back chair of a period when makers were beginning to try to strengthen the tall backs, and hit cn the device of pillars at the sides for this purpose. The chair should of course have the stuffed seat removed in order to uncover the original caning.

for dating the Queen Anne grandfather-chair. It is walnut wood; secondly, the legs and turned struts are typical of the period, while the shape, when compared with a later one, is finer. The curve of the arms, too, is bolder, and the wings are set on to the back not quite at a right angle, as they are in later chairs. A much finer chair of this period is the one from Mr. Seymour Lucas's collection illustrated (Plate 73); but perhaps less interesting to the ordinary buyer of antique furniture, because it is scarcely likely that he will come across one. Before I leave early chairs, I want to say particularly that though there are many very fine ones with straight backs— witness those from Mr. Ashby Sterry's and Mr. Letts's collections—in my opinion, the finest have always curved backs which fit the figure of the person sitting on them so delightfully that the chairs are more comfortable than any others. Possibly it was because this curve in time was gradually omitted that the high-backed chair went out of fashion, as a really straight back is not comfortable. Very often Stuart and later chairs, which were made with cane backs and seats, have been stuffed over—sometimes the backs, but oftener the seats only. Generally the caning

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