In the manner of Wheeler of Arncroach, a pair of oak Gossip chairs  (2)

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Lot 315
In the manner of Wheeler of Arncroach, a pair of oak Gossip chairs

£ 400 - 600
US$ 540 - 810

The Scottish Sale

13 Apr 2016, 11:00 BST

Edinburgh

In the manner of Wheeler of Arncroach, a pair of oak Gossip chairs
Each yoke shaped top-rail and pierced baluster-shaped splat, above a drop-in seat raised on square tapering legs, 43cm wide, 37cm deep, 81cm high (16 1/2in wide, 14 1/2in deep, 31 1/2in high). (2)

Footnotes

  • The origin of the well-known 'Gossip' chair from the workshop of Fife furniture maker William Wheeler of Arncroach is closely bound up with the Anstruther family in the early twentieth century. It came about as an example of country house patronage, in which Eva, sister in law of Sir Ralph Anstruther of Balcaskie, sent down from her house, Gillingshill, just outside Arncroach, a Chippendale-style dining chair to be repaired. William Wheeler junior, who carried on his father's business from 1913, recollected that Mrs Anstruther, whilst in the shop discussing the details of her repair, suggested that a chair might be made to the same design but on a much smaller scale. As Wheeler recalled: "I carried out her suggestion and the result was a very neat little chair with a fretted back, which I learned was to be used for the fireside". "Keenly interested, I asked Sir Ralph's sister in law what she proposed to call the chair. She thought for a moment and replied, 'I think I'll call it a gossip chair'. So the name stuck to it and after the chair I had made had been taken away I started to make others in different designs".

    Sir Robert Lorimer, many of whose early designs were executed by William Wheeler, has also long been associated with Gossip chairs. Several were held in his collection at Kellie Castle, and he is also understood to have presented them as Christening gifts.
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