ID: 43078 - 11
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Antique 'Cockfighting' Chair c.1850

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H: 82cm W: 76cm D: 45cm Seat Height: 49cm

An antique “cockfighting“ chair made in England in the middle part of the 19th century. Still in its original leather upholstery, the chair has a sweeping back rail and a narrow backrest in order to allow the user to sit on it facing forward but also to straddle the chair and therefore facing what would be perceived as backwards. This would allow the user to raise the desk on the back of the chair and position it horizontally or at an angle in such a way that he could place a book and effortlessly read whilst sitting comfortably. However, the user could be more “adventurous“ with its use and many illustrations show chairs of this kind being used during cockfights where the user would rest betting slips and drinks on the desk. For anyone who loves to own a piece of social history with a story to tell this is a perfect opportunity to buy a rare item that is seldom seen in such fantastic condition.

A cockfighting chair is a chair with broad armrests that form a yoke with the back rail to which a reading desk is attached. Broad in front but curving inward toward the back, the seat was shaped so that a reader could easily sit astride, facing the desk at the back of the chair and resting his arms on the ends of the yoke. Due to the fact that such chairs were shown in illustrations of cockfights, it was thought for a time that they were only made for this purpose. More correctly called reading chairs, they were first made in England for libraries in the early 18th century.

Condition: some crazing to the leather on the seating and back rail but no holes or tears through the leather. Overall good vintage condition.

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Antique and vintage goods are both stylish and sustainable. 

They have a low carbon footprint thanks to their existing lifespan and they help reduce deforestation because no trees are being cut to produce them.

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