A Marvellous c.1900s Rexine Upholstered & Oak Framed Open Armchair of Masonic Interest

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Origin: English
Period: Edwardian
Provenance: The Friendly Lodge 1513, Masonic Hall, Eastgate, Barnsley, UK
Date: c.1900-1910
Height: 38 inches (with squab cushion)
Width: 23.75 inches
Depth: 31 inches (all at extremities)

The unusual and generously proportioned oak and stained beech framed library type open armchair with a ladder back, open scrolls to the open arms with front turned spindles, the original charcoal rexine button upholstered padded squab seatback and deep rexine covered seat under substantial open arms on turned supports and turned front legs showing a brass presentation plaque, the whole surviving from Edwardian period England and the Freemasons Friendly Lodge 1513, Barnsley, Yorkshire.

The chair is a super example of lodge furniture and has a lovely original untouched feel, making it hugely appealing. The rexine is worn but appealingly so, now more supple to the touch, with no tears or losses to note. The front legs would probably have once bore castors which are lacking, and there is some loss to the rear right foot. The oak and stained beech is in good order throughout with only minor scuffs and an outstanding patina and colour especially to the front turnings and arms. It proves a comfortable chair indeed, perfect for lounging, reading or watching. The chair has a faint arts and crafts influence and also something of the plantation chair about it but its proportions are heavier and essentially it is a unique, commission design.

The chair bears a brass engraved plaque to the front rail which reads: “Presented to the “Friendly” Lodge 1513 - Barnsley – By Bro Herbert Crawshaw 1908”

Friendly Lodge was consecrated on the 24 Aug. 1874 and it’s locations changed from Temperance Hall, Pitt Street, Barnsley, Yorkshire to the King's Head Hotel, Market Hill, also in Barnsley both in 1874 and lastly to the Masonic Hall, Eastgate, Barnsley, Yorkshire in 1886 which is still its residence today. The Friendly Lodge, No 1513 meets on 1st Thursday of the month, except August and September when the Lodge is in recess and installation is in February. We believe Herbert Crawshaw was born in 1878 making him 29 when he presented this chair and he was a successful architect and designed the Theatre Royal in Barnsley.

A thoroughly handsome chair that combines its superior aesthetics with a tangible historic undercurrent; always an irresistible combination.

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