Members will be interested to hear about Take a Seat! An exhibition of Lincolnshire craftsman-made chairs which will be held at Louth Museum from 13th September to 28th October 2017.
The extraordinary history of chairmaking at the beginning of the nineteenth century in Lincolnshire has only recently been revealed by vernacular furniture historian and long standing member of the RFS, William Sergeant. He has shown that the scale of windsor chair manufacture was unique in the UK and was far greater than was previously thought. During this period hundreds of thousands of chairs were made in workshops in Grantham, Sleaford, Boston, and then later in Stamford and Bourne. They were distributed and sold all over the Midlands and the North. Their style is distinct to the county and examples can still be found today in good condition, in auctions and antique shops.
Previous to this, in the eighteenth century, the simple rush seated ladderback chair had superseded the stool in country households. Lincolnshire produced large numbers of these chairs, with the centre of manufacture around Louth, Spilsby and Alford, extending later to Boston and Spalding. It is rare for good examples to have survived to the present day.
William Sergeant has been collecting and researching Lincolnshire’s chairs and is recognised as the country’s leading authority on the subject. On the evening of Tuesday 10th October he will be giving a talk on the subject, and on Saturday 14th October there will be an open day chair surgery: the aim of which is to try and find well provenanced local chairs, in the hope of establishing exactly which patterns were made in the towns of Spilsby, Alford, Caistor and Louth.