This intriguing and charismatic chair is carved with encoded phrases, words and letters, with many symbols including the playing card motifs of hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades, as well as stars, cockerels, a Maltese cross, an inverted anchor and a dog or horse. In addition to these elements, there is a strong sense of asymmetry in the use of left/right differences in the carving and in the dark/light contrasts in the colour of the woods. The maker of this chair appears to have made and hand-carved it as a tribute to his christian beliefs. In using bog woods which are traditionally thought to have been laid down during the Biblical Flood, he gives recognition to this event as the central theme of his text which encircles the chair seat thus:
Wreck of Noah Flood. Drowned, haped up, and buried in that great almighty sea; before it where brought up today and for a proof of the Holy Book I have made into a chair
(haped - to cover up, in Scottish dialect)
The lettering on the seat itself has been decoded to read:
Dear Friends, When looking at this chair, bring to mind those teriable bygone days when those two fresh green trees standing alive where hewn or layed, and for thousands years there resting place has been as one with that bed of clay. Those condemd wrecked trees have bend there heads two our almight king
A full decoding of all the words and texts is available.
Dr B.D Cotton