Exceptional Rare Early Antique Irish Hedge/Famine Stick Back Vernacular Elbow Chair Circa 1830


A stunning rare, early antique Irish primitive/vernacular Irish stick back 'Hedge' chair. An exceptional example also known as a Famine or Fool's chair. Circa 1830. Irish chairs don’t come any better than this. Museum /collectors quality piece of historic furniture. This is one of the finest examples to come to market in recent years and a very rare vernacular piece of furniture. An absolute showstopper of a chair. These chairs are now regarded as important historical & cultural items highly prized for their aesthetic qualities and regional history. Deep aged patina, a simply fabulous chair. Originating from County Antrim, Northern Ireland this Northern Irish hedge chair is one with design elements including both a characteristic composite seat construction and inter-locked arms connected to the rear corner spindles similar to the design of Irish 'Gibson' chairs. The backrest/rail is curved with the 5 spindles through tenoned and wedged above. Predominantly made of ash with a pine board seat and traces of remnant paint. The seat being comprised of a thick piece of wood, joined by mortice and tenon wedged joints and a pine plank seat board. The turned ash legs and spindles are all through wedged into the thickest part of the seat and slightly splayed. This beautiful hedge chair has been of value to owner and lived a life of considerable utility repair/maintenance, which is common of these types of historic chairs. Similar to the more primitive Scottish crofter made chairs from Sutherland/Caithness and the west coast the Northern Irish chairs of County Antrim and County Derry overcame a lack of readily available large-dimension timber. With materials being unavailable,capitalising on what was available in terms of material and their economic use was the norm to construct a functional and utilitarian vernacular chairs.It is also recognised that maritime links between the north of Scotland and the port of Derry may have influenced similarities in design. Ulster Folk Museum contains similar examples and other historical references includes; Kinmonth, C. (2020) Irish Country Furniture and furnishings 1700-2000. Cork University Press.Ross Noble, R. (1987) The chairs of Sutherland and Caithness: A Northern Tradition in Highland chair-making.  The Regional Furniture Society, Vol 1.

As a genuine antique / vintage item there is wear and use commensurate with age. Mona Lisa not included in sale. Some wooden products may have signs of historic woodworm. As a precaution we apply a clear triple action woodworm treatment that also kills wet rot, dry rot and woodworm. Please look at all the images carefully and ask any questions pre purchase as we do not unfortunately offer refunds due to the size and shipping costs of our antiques/items.  All our items are available on line at Search & Rescued and other online stores.