Two oak Caithness chairs, first quarter 20th century
Lot 565
Two oak Caithness chairs, first quarter 20th century
Sold for £475 (US$ 762) inc. premium

Lot Details
Two carved Caithness chairs, first quarter 20th century
Two oak Caithness chairs, first quarter 20th century
Comprising an armchair and a side chair, each of typical Caithness form with profusely carved frames incorporating quatrefoil, lunette and diamond motifs, the armchair 58cm wide, 54cm deep, 94.5cm high.

Footnotes

  • Caithness Armchair by McIvor and Allan, c1900
    A craft revival of Scottish furniture types occurred in several regions during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. McIvor and Allan of Castletown, Caithness, for instance, began manufacturing reproduction 'Caithness' chairs featuring spindle backs and angled side members at a time when the old established vernacular tradition of making these chairs had scarcely died out. The brothers in law John McIvor and Donald Allan founded the business around 1890, combining a revival of an idiosyncratic northern chair making tradition with the more recent late nineteenth century craze for hand carving, up until then a popular pastime amongst ladies. They employed the chip carving technique, which had Indian/Arabic origins, but which had become firmly established in northern Europe and Scandinavia. Although there were several competitors, as in the production of that other celebrated northern revival, the Orkney chair, McIvor and Allan's furniture was superior in construction and decoration.
    The makers did not sign their work, but a signature of sorts does sometimes appear in the form of a thistle leaf with its tip folded back. Although the firm of McIvor and Allan was wound up around 1955, chip carved Caithness chairs and other small pieces are still made by a descendant of one of the early apprentices.
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