An Early 20thC Leather Upholstered Button-Back Club Armchair c.1915; Kentwell Hall

Origin: English
Period: Early 20thC
Provenance: Kentwell Hall, Suffolk.
Date: c.1915
Height: 38” or 16” at seat
Width: 36”
Depth: 40”

The comfortable and rather large armchair with a good scrolled back the whole in chestnut brown leather and rexine, having a button upholstered back and flanks, and scrolled arms to tapering oak legs and surviving from the first quarter of the twentieth century and Kentwell Hall, Suffolk.

The chair is in largely original order making it hugely appealing, with the upholstery partly distressed. The leather is worn but appealingly so, the seat is now in rexine. There is one tear to the back and one smaller to one arm as photographed. There would have been front castors which are lacking. It proves a comfortable chair indeed, perfect for lounging, reading or watching.

This chair could be grouped with that of ‘club’ furniture from the early twentieth century. The word "club" in club chair harks back to the gentlemen's clubs in nineteenth century England where a gentleman could go to get away from his household (including womenfolk). Once there, he would sink into a well-upholstered leather chair and relax with a drink and perhaps a cigar. The names of the fashionable London streets full of such clubs are still used to name classic club chairs : St. James, Piccadilly and so on. A dictionary definition of a club chair or sofa is "A heavily upholstered piece of furniture with arms and a low back".

Kentwell Hall is a stately home in Long Melford, Suffolk, England. It includes the hall, outbuildings, a rare-breeds farm and gardens. Most of the current building facade dates from the mid-16th century, but the origins of Kentwell are much earlier, with references in the Domesday Book of 1086.

A good chair with a great backstory.