Contributed by Jane Thomson


This chair was bought in a village auction room on the Isle of Wight. It is an ordinary chair but it is old and softly worn.
Do you see how the right half of the seat is thinner and lower than the left?
Similarly, the right arm rest is lower and paler at the end than the left one. Yet it is not at all damaged.
The chair is sound. It does not creak. It is comfortable in it's form. It has been worn into this shape by the same person sitting in it day after day, year after year.
The list of the chair shows that the owner was almost certainly left handed, crossing their left leg over their right and knocking the heal of their boot on the leg as you can see by the flat dark mark worn into the wood.
They habitually clasped the arm in their right hand, wearing away the colour of the wood. In their left hand perhaps they held a book or a pipe.
The legs are all worn down at different angles, their ends bleached pale by the mopping of the uneven flagstones that wore them down.

The chair tells the story of a labouring man's life. No upholstered comfort, no change of clothes for indoors, no slippers on carpeted floors. A hard and simple life given rest in a hard and simple chair.

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Probably the Isle of Wight


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