Chairs of this general design are common to the Celtic regions of Britain and their attribution to a particular area is often problematic. However this example has features that confirm its West Country origins. These include the use of sycamore for the seat which was common but not universal in chairs from this area. The spindles in the back are diagnostic too: they are faceted, being skillfully shaped with a draw knife rather than being turned; the use of this tool indicates the skill which men working as coopers and boat builders had in this region, a skill which they fluently transferred to chair making, often their secondary trade. In addition the spindles in the back fan outwards and this too is a common feature of Windsor chairs from the West Country; the three part arm has outer sawn sections which scarf-joint into the middle section and this too is a West Country convention for joining arms of this type. However the distinctive use of cross stretchers between the legs is unusual in this tradition where the legs were more commonly splayed and unsupported by stretchers.
Dr B. D. Cotton