Porter's Chair Strikes Gold

Friday 23rd April 2021 - Greg Bateman


Porter's Chair Strikes Gold

An unusual 18th century oak 'porter's chair' sells in Batemans of Stamford's 10th April Fine Art, Antiques & Specialist Collectors Sale.


Greg Bateman, Managing Director, explains "Porter's chairs are a particular type of armchair, dating back to the medieval period, and were designed with a very high enclosed back which would help to keep the occupant relatively sheltered. They were most often placed by the front door of a large house for use by a gatekeeper servant, who was in charge of screening guests and visitors, where there were often cold breezes. Thus the design helped stave off serious chills and allowed the sitter a greater degree of comfort throughout the long periods of waiting by the entrance. They are reasonably rare and whenever they appear at auction across the country attract serious interest."

This particular example was Georgian, possibly a little earlier, and made from oak panels over a box base, the front panel was hinged below the solid seat to reveal a storage compartment, and it stood 140cm (55") high. It was consigned by a local private vendor, who had themselves purchased it from Christie's, London, in 1989, using it regularly ever since when seated in their living room!

Over two minutes of bidding by four main parties saw the bidding fly through £1,000, £2,000, £3,000 and on past £4,000. A few more flashes of the screens via the online bidders, now much slower in pace signaling the last few bids perhaps, and SOLD!

Batemans' Principle Auctioneer David Palmer brought the hammer down at a spectacular £4,800! It was offered with pre-sale estimates of £400 - £600

It sold for £6,045 (inc 25.95% Buyer's Premium) ... TEN TIMES the estimate!