This unusual chair is visually striking and is a fine example of one individual's imaginative craftsmanship. The style of boot depicted was fashionable during the second half of the 19th century. It is tempting to surmise that the chair maybe Manx or Scottish, for certainly there are traditions in which hawthorn and blackthorn branches were used for chairmaking in the Scottish highlands and islands. The canvas seat appears to be the original covering for the chair and contains various grasses amongst its stuffing. An analysis of these gives us one or two limited pointers as to the chairs origin. Amongst several common grasses whose distribution is throughout the British Isles, Marsh Fern (Thelypteris palustris) has been identified, which is not recorded on the Isle of Man and is very rare in Scotland. Of the six recordings for Scotland, not one is in the Highlands. On the basis of this evidence, therefore, we can only say that this chair could be English or Scottish Lowlands.
We are grateful to Professor Jim Green for his detailed analysis of these grasses.