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Towards a history of the origin and diffusion of a late renaissance chair design: the ‘caquetoire’ or ‘caqueteuse’ chair in France, Scotland and England


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This article explores the origin and evolution of caquetoire chairs in France and their influence on chairs in Britain. The term caquetoire (or the closely related term, caqueteuse) derives from the French caqueter, meaning to gossip or to prattle. It is applied today in France to tall, narrow-backed, lightly built chairs with open arms and trapezoidal seats; and in eastern Scotland and in the city of Salisbury in Wiltshire to heavily built chairs with many of the same features as the French examples. It is a type well known to students of Renaissance furniture and marked a break with earlier, more heavily built types of chairs. The type is intriguing because it has no obvious antecedents, and because of the differences between the French, Scottish and Salisbury examples. This article discusses the difficulties in identifying caquetoire chairs in the historical record; the range of French, Scottish and Salisbury chairs currently referred to as caquetoires; and the emergence of the French examples. It then considers some possible predecessors to the type, focusing particularly on a chair shown in a tapestry whose significance has not previously been recognised. Journal name: Furniture History
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© Furniture History, Vol. LV (2019), pp. 1–26
By christopher pickvance
This article explores the origin and evolution of caquetoire chairs in France and
their inuence on chairs in Britain. The term caquetoire (or the closely related term,
caqueteuse) derives from the French caqueter, meaning to gossip or to prattle. It is
applied today in France to tall, narrow-backed, lightly built chairs with open arms
and trapezoidal seats; and in eastern Scotland and in the city of Salisbury in Wiltshire
to heavily built chairs with many of the same features as the French examples.1 It is
a type well known to students of Renaissance furniture and marked a break with
earlier, more heavily built types of chairs. The type is intriguing because it has no
obvious antecedents, and because of the differences between the French, Scottish
and Salisbury examples. This article discusses the difculties in identifying caquetoire
chairs in the historical record; the range of French, Scottish and Salisbury chairs
currently referred to as caquetoires; and the emergence of the French examples. It then
considers some possible predecessors to the type, focusing particularly on a chair
shown in a tapestry whose signicance has not previously been recognised.
It is usual to search for the origins of furniture terms in historical documents. In the
case of the caquetoire chair, this has proved difcult. The earliest uses of the term
occur in 1522 (‘a seat where one gossips at one’s ease’), and in 1548 in the inventory
of Catherine de Medici (‘small caqueteuse chairs with tapestry’).2 The well-known
reference in Henri Estienne’s Apologie pour Hérodote of 1556 states, ‘the ladies of Paris
did not hesitate to call “caquetoires” the seats on whichonce seated,especially around
a woman who has just given birth, each onewanted to show that she did not have
a frozen tongue’.3 This makes the point, if the author can be relied on, that the term
caquetoire was a term used by women, rather than used pejoratively by men. References
in inventories and guild statutes refer to the caquetoire as a low chair, without arms
and with an upholstered seat. Havard and de Reyniès list many sources from 1570
to 1722 that describe it as a seat covered with velvet or tapestry.4 Thornton refers to a
joiners’ guild requirement in 1580 to make as one of their ‘masterpieces’ a ‘low chair
called caquetoire’ and Janneau refers to Trévoux’s Dictionnaire, rst published in 1704,
which states that the caquetoire was a ‘low chair with a very high back, without arms,
2 the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair
in which one chatters at ease in the corners of the replace’.5 Janneau concludes that
all the early references were to a low chair without arms, since ‘the skirt with an
ample farthingale kept rigid by an osier hoop could not have tted between the arms’
of what today is called the caquetoire.6 Thornton adds that this ‘original’ caquetoire
had a low upholstered seat and a back with an upper upholstered part, and includes
a drawing of such a chair.7 The Estienne and Trévoux references make clear that the
original caquetoires were women’s chairs, and they are important to the historian for
this reason.
Eighteenth-century and earlier usage thus demonstrates that the term caquetoire
referred to a quite different type of chair. Janneau suggests that the term chaise à
bras was used at this time to refer to both the square-seated chair and the trapezoid-
seated, narrow-backed chair, both with open arms (Figures 1–3). He concludes, ‘it
is remarkable that the most original type of seat produced by the sixteenth century
Figure 1. Chaise à bras,
France, late sixteenth century,
Musée des Arts Décoratifs,
Paris. Photo: author.
the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair 3
was the only one not to have a name’.8 Thornton’s view is that the modern caquetoire
was ‘simply a version of the “great chair” and need not invariably have had a special
name’ in the sixteenth century.9 By the late nineteenth century, however, caquetoire
had taken on its modern use. Bonnaffé writes that ‘it is in error that today the
imaginary name of caqueteuses has been given to chairs with narrow backs, baluster
arm supports and whose seats are quite high off the ground [and] generally take
trapezoidal form’.10 De Reyniès agrees that caquetoire was a mistaken nineteenth-
century usage, and Thornton blames Havard for perpetuating it.11 Havard includes
several images captioned as caquetoires but, despite the large scale of his study, the
text fails to explain the term’s evolution. Bonnaffé quotes the 1571 inventory of Renée
Figure 2. Chaise, France,
late sixteenth century,
Musée des Arts Décoratifs,
Paris. Photo: author.
4 the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair
de Gosbert, which refers to ‘walnut
chairs of tallemouse shape’ (this
being a triangular cake) as the term
used at that time, and his view has
proved most inuential.12 Although
Janneau disagreed, saying that
tallemouse refers to the low chair
without arms and a triangular [sic]
seat, he proceeds to caption three
pictures of caquetoire chairs (with
trapezoidal seats) as ‘“chaises à
bras” en facon de tallemouze’.13
Moreover, the 1571 reference has
been taken as the earliest mention
of the modern caquetoire chair.
Janneau dates his illustrations
of such chairs to c. 1570 and, in
recent years, French publications
have dated caquetoire chairs to
1570 or later (and often used the
tallemouse name), whereas they
were previously dated to the rst
half of the sixteenth century.14
However, the single early reference
to the tallemouse raises the question
of how current the term was. For
these reasons the 1570 date is best
regarded as hypothetical and
the range 156070 as preferable.
Although there is no early
documentary basis for the equation of modern caquetoire chairs with women’s chairs,
this has been inferred from their light construction. This, too, is best regarded as a
hypothesis requiring research. Their greater portability could have been made them
attractive to men as well.
The term caquetoire is no more present in the British historical record than in the
French. In 2004 Stephen Jackson wrote that ‘scholarship, however, cannot yet tell us
whether a chair with a trapezoidal seat, tall back and inward-curving arms obtained
a special name in seventeenth-century Scotland. It is a rare seventeenth-century
Scottish inventory that goes beyond the bland ane chyir.’15 Michael Pearce, whose
Figure 3. Walnut caquetoire chair, France.
Photo: Bonhams.
the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair 5
PhD thesis was on Scottish inventories in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,
writes: ‘I’ve certainly read a lot of inventories now, but I haven’t yet seen any
descriptions of carved chairs that equate to “caqueteuses”. Most chairs are noticed
on account of their upholstery, or are oak or r chairs, sometimes “carvit”, or buffet
stools.’16 Likewise, Victor Chinnery’s discussion of ‘Salisbury’ chairs does not refer to
any early sources that use the term caquetoire.17 Thus it seems likely that in Britain the
term caquetoire also dates back only to the nineteenth century.
The date range 156070 has implications for the dating of British caquetoire chairs.
The well-known chair in the Victoria and Albert Museum with a ‘Romayne’ panel in
the back, with a woman’s face looking ahead rather than in prole, and with angled
(‘dog-leg’) arms and H-stretchers and which was previously dated to c. 1540, has
already been demoted on the basis that its panel is a nineteenth-century imitation of
a Romayne panel.18 It seems more likely to be a piece inspired by caquetoire armchairs,
but made at a later date. Other chairs that have been dated to the 153050 period
require close scrutiny.19
cacquetoire chairs in france and britain
In France, the term caquetoire is used today to refer to a tall, narrow-backed, lightly
built, joined armchair with a trapezoidal seat.20 The arms are joined to the front and
outside of the rear uprights with a ‘bird’s mouth’ joint, and the front legs are turned.
Beyond this, the type shows very considerable variation. The arms may be curved
or angled and may have additional supports. There may be four or six legs and four
stretchers in a square or three in an H. The rear uprights may be turned or left square,
and the turning of arm supports and front legs may be plain, baluster or inverted
baluster. The front stretcher is often xed across the base of the front legs in the form
of a footrest, rather than between them, which Bonnaffé suggests leads to the high
seat, but both features hint at the status of the user of this type of chair (Figure 3).21
The greatest degree of variation lies in the back, which can, for example, be empty
except for a high cresting, have a single or double arcade or a plain or carved panel,
which may or may not extend to the seat. The cresting rail can be xed between the
uprights or on top of them. The carving on the panel back varies from the minimal
to the extremely elaborate, doubtless reecting the varied contexts in which these
chairs were used. The ‘second Renaissance’ taste of the late sixteenth century was for
the fantastic (masks, exotic creatures) and, for example, the arm could terminate in a
ram’s head.22 A related type is the caquetoire that rotates on a base.23
In contrast to France, the term caquetoire in both eastern Scotland and the area around
Salisbury has been applied to a type of joined armchair that is built as heavily as a
6 the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair
standard British panel-back armchair. Its distinctive features are a trapezoidal seat
(four-sided in eastern Scotland, six-sided in Salisbury) and arms that are usually
round in eastern Scotland and angled in Salisbury, and have baluster arm supports.24
Scottish examples often have relatively tall panelled backs, while the height of the
backs of the Salisbury examples is similar to those of standard panel-back armchairs
throughout England. In eastern Scotland the seat can be at a low level. The arms of the
Salisbury examples are joined to the front of the rear uprights, whereas the Scottish
examples follow the French model in having bird’s-mouth joints.25 On Scottish
caquetoires the cresting is usually placed across the full width of the chair, whereas
in Salisbury the crest rail is usually xed between the rear uprights and any cresting
projects from this rail, the mayoral chairs being exceptions. The Scottish examples
are usually of oak or pine; the pine examples are likely to be less elaborately carved
and may be plain.
The earliest dated Scottish
caquetoire is the 1582 chair in the
Provand’s Lordship collection in
Glasgow, which comes from the
House of Kelly, Aberdeenshire
(Figures 4–6).26 It has a heavily
moulded crest rail bearing the date
and initials ‘G.1582.I’. The plain
back panel has a deeply moulded
frame, and the front seat rail is
shaped with a double bracket.
Close examination shows that the
arms, turned arm supports, front
legs and seat are later replacements.
Chinnery dates another caquetoire
to c. 1580.27 This chair has a central
front seat support that creates a
double arcade, and a back panel
carved with an arch in perspective.
The double arcade is sometimes
found on French caquetoires. Some
French examples have shaped seat
rails, but dated chairs are rarely,
if ever, seen. In Scotland, dated
caquetoire chairs continue into the
eighteenth century.28 Figure 4. The oldest dated Scottish caquetoire
chair, 1582, Provand’s Lordship. Photo: author.
the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair 7
The best-known Scottish caquetoires
are the twenty chairs at Trinity Hall,
Aberdeen, the home of the city’s seven
incorporated trades, each being given
by the deacon or deacon-convenor of
a trade on their retirement. These have
elaborately carved crest rails and seat
rails, and their panel backs are carved
with the donor’s name and coat of arms.
They are mostly oak and bear carved
dates from 1621 to 1690.29 The earliest
deacon’s chair at Trinity Hall, bearing a
1574 date, is not of the caquetoire type.30
It belongs to the Wrights and Coopers
trade, bears the name Jerome Blak in
gothic lettering and has a merchant’s
mark on the back panel (Figure 7). It
has a square seat and a panel below
the seat, recalling the earlier ‘box
armchair’, and the naturalistic nials
are carved in the solid.31 It has been
suggested that this chair is a family
chair reused as a deacon’s chair.32 The
back of the cresting is made of quarter-
sawn oak, whereas the boards of the
back show signs of cleaving (Figure 8).
This does not prove that the cresting
is a later addition, but it is consistent
with this idea. Deacons’ chairs had
an important ceremonial role in the
trades, but the circumstances surrounding their provision is uncertain.33 There must
be an explanation as to why no deacons’ chairs survive from between 1574 and 1621,
the date of the rst Aberdeen trades caquetoire. It would be premature to argue that
the gap between the rst dated Scottish caquetoire (1582) and the 1621 date is an
indication of the conservatism of the trades.
A second group of nine caquetoire chairs was acquired by Sir William Burrell in 1925
from a dealer/collector/curator in Aberdeenshire; he kept two at Hutton Castle and
gave seven to Provand’s Lordship.34 The design seems to have been used for both
ceremonial and domestic purposes.
Figure 5. Detail of Figure 4, rear view.
Photo: author.
8 the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair
There are two caquetoires of identical design but different sizes, each with a coat of
arms and initials at Crathes Castle, south of Aberdeen. The larger, undated, ‘AB’
chair and a smaller ‘KG’ chair dated 1597 have been shown to correspond to the
names of the castle’s owners, Alexander Burnett and Katherine Gordon.35 The coat
of arms on the KG chair is for Katherine Gordon’s father, in line with the practice of
Scottish women at this time to retain their maiden name and identity throughout
their marriage. This pair is a rare example where it can be concluded that the smaller
one was made for a woman, which suggests that in Scotland caquetoires were not in
general women’s chairs. It remains to be seen how frequently pairs were made in
Scotland; they do not appear to have existed in the Salisbury area, or in France.36
The Salisbury examples described at length by Victor Chinnery almost all have
angled arms and a trapezoidal seat with six sides and, as a group, he considered them
to span the period 15801650.37 In general, their backs are lower than the Scottish
examples. They include two striking mayoral chairs dated 1585 and 1622, both in
walnut, with uted legs and uted arm supports (Figures 9 and 10). The 1622 chair
imitates the style of the earlier one, but has a ner carved back panel.38 Chinnery
points out that only three of thirty-eight Salisbury armchairs known in 1979 were not
of caquetoire design.39 This implies that the design retained an almost exclusive local
favour for a long period. Only two chairs are known to have had a ceremonial role,
Figure 6. Detail of Figure 4, crest rail. Photo: author.
the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair 9
so most must have been for domestic use. Research since 1979 has increased the total
of thirty-eight to fty-four and has brought to light an additional group of over fty
panel-back armchairs that lack angled arms and trapezoidal seats and are considered
to be from Wessex, but not Salisbury, and thus not to be caquetoires.40 Last, it is worth
mentioning that a number of seventeenth-century Salisbury panel-back chairs have
earlier designs in their back panels, such as medieval scenes and Romayne heads,
as well as the caquetoire shape.41 This suggests that there was a group, probably, as
Chinnery suggests, the Salisbury joiners’ guild, with an unusually developed interest
in chair design and in asserting a distinctive fashion.
It can thus be seen that in neither eastern Scotland nor Salisbury was the lightly built
caquetoire design adopted wholesale. Instead, there was a selective incorporation of
Figure 7. Jerome
Blak Deacon’s chair,
1574, Trinity House,
Aberdeen. Photo:
Seven Incorporated
Trades of Aberdeen.
10 the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair
its elements into existing chair-making traditions. The Salisbury examples retained
fewer French features than the Scottish examples. The trapezoidal seat and round
or angled arms were both adopted, although the relatively narrow back and bird’s-
mouth joint were adopted in eastern Scotland but not in Salisbury. The two extra seat
supports are generally absent. The result was a chair of heavier weight, simple arm
joints (Salisbury) and often a lower seat (eastern Scotland).42
At present, only general explanations can be suggested for the emergence of variants
of the caquetoire chair in Scotland and Salisbury. There were economic, political and
social links between leading merchants, clergy and other high-status gures in the
wealthy ports of eastern Scotland, from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, and the Continent.43
Bishop Elphinstone was acquiring Flemish woodwork for King’s College Chapel,
Figure 8. Detail of
Figure 7, back and
cresting. Photo: Seven
Incorporated Trades
of Aberdeen.
the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair 11
Aberdeen as early as 1500.44 The old link between Scotland and France strengthened
with the marriage in 1537 of James V and Madeleine, daughter of Francis I, which led
to his purchase of luxurious French furnishings such as beds, chairs and tapestries,
and to the Renaissance decorative work at Stirling Castle and Falkland Palace.45 When
his daughter Mary, widow of Francis II, returned in 1562 to reign as Queen of Scots,
she did so ‘with ships laden with luxurious gowns and furnishings’.46 At the same
time, French and Flemish craftsmen are recorded as working in Scotland, and Pearce
has used guild records to suggest that there was a ‘French school of furniture-making’
in Edinburgh from the 1550s in which French craftsmen held leading positions.47
Unfortunately, the furniture he mentions does not include chairs. Several questions
arise. How far was the caquetoire involved in new techniques and tools introduced
by immigrant craftsmen? Were the chairs initially made in workshops by Scottish
craftsmen under French supervision? How did their design and manufacture evolve,
and how did demand for the style spread beyond the initial stratum of households
and achieve such longevity?
Figure 9. Mayoral chair, 1585, Salisbury.
Photo: Jan Chinnery/Oak Furniture:
The British Tradition by Victor Chinnery
(ACC Art Books, 2016).
Figure 10. Mayoral chair, 1622, Salisbury.
Photo: Jan Chinnery/Oak Furniture:
The British Tradition by Victor Chinnery (ACC
Art Books, 2016).
12 the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair
In the case of Salisbury, the context is very different. The town had commercial contacts
with France through the wool trade.48 The Salisbury caquetoires included neither the
bird’s-mouth joint nor the tall back of the Scottish variant. The inuence of the French
model is thus weaker and suggests the lack of a broader cultural orientation in
favour of French Renaissance design. French craftsmen may not have been resident.
The Salisbury examples end in the 1670s, and this shorter period of popularity is
compatible with the style being a preference of a guild with sophisticated tastes
which did not extend far geographically and could therefore not be sustained over as
many generations as it was in Scotland.49
The emergence of caquetoire-inspired chairs in Scotland and Salisbury close together
in the 1580s may be coincidental, as the scale and social processes involved in each
place differed. Whereas it has been argued that Renaissance design was slow to start
to inuence English furniture, the impact of the caquetoire design only ten or twenty
years after its likely introduction in France shows that, by the late sixteenth century,
the pace of inuence had accelerated, no doubt facilitated by the Elizabethan boom
in building houses for wealthy households, new styles of interior decoration, and an
increase in the number of rooms and new types of furniture.50
The general question of the inuence of immigrant craftsmen in the sixteenth
century is too large to discuss here. Immigrant joiners and carvers were present from
Aberdeen to East Anglia to London to Winchester and Exeter and Devon.51 It is too
simplistic to suggest that the presence or absence of French or Flemish craftsmen in a
town necessarily led to the transfer or not of particular furniture designs. They were a
differentiated category; they may have been working on xed woodwork in churches
or houses, they may have been introducing new techniques such as marquetry and
complex mouldings, and they may have been highly skilled workers passed from
commissioner to commissioner or less skilled workers employed casually. The
growth of London in the late sixteenth century and, especially, its wealthy classes
created an expanded demand for luxury goods of all types, which included new
forms of furniture with new types of decoration. What immigrant craftsmen made,
however, has proved harder to establish than their presence.52 The fact that the
caquetoire design was not copied in Scotland and Salisbury but treated as a mine from
which to select elements suggests that makers and customers had a strong inuence
on what was made. The use in Scotland of the bird’s-mouth joint on sturdy chairs
where it was not really necessary may reect the involvement and even leadership of
French craftsmen in guilds, contrary to their usual exclusion in England.
Finally, as well as these three main groups of caquetoire chairs in Britain and France,
a group of possibly related examples is worth examining. The Victoria and Albert
Museum has a heavily built oak chair with a narrow raked back, arms joined to the
the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair 13
face of the uprights, moulded seat rails and low stretchers and a back panel with
an applied moulded rectangle with lozenge inside (Figure 11).53 Apart from its
differently shaped, moulded panel-back decoration and its lack of extra stretchers,
this chair has some similarities to a chair illustrated in the French literature which
has a narrow raked panel back with three full-height tapered shapes, and turned
twin baluster stretchers just below each seat rail (Figure 12).54 According to Laurence
Fligny, this chair dates from the very early seventeenth century, is a very rare design,
may not be French, and the shapes in the panel back are planed out of the solid.55 The
V&A chair is considered to date from 156080, based on the similar applied moulded
rectangle with lozenge decoration on the panel-back armchairs at Sizergh Castle
dated 157071.56 There are other relevant comparators: the Scottish 1582 caquetoire
and two undated side chairs at Sizergh Castle considered to be from the 1570s, all
of which have an applied moulded rectangle on the back panels.57 This suggests the
possibility of a link between the
V&A, ‘French’ and Sizergh chairs.
The creation of complex shapes
made with moulding planes,
applied or cut in the solid, may
have been a new decorative
technique, perhaps introduced by
immigrant craftsmen.58
There are two caquetoires that
t into neither the Scottish nor
Salisbury types. Roe illustrates a
chair in St Augustine’s Church,
Broxbourne, Hertfordshire with
bulbous acanthus-carved legs and
arm supports, oral marquetry
on the back panel and the upper
surfaces of the angled arms, and
an elaborate cresting rail (Figure
13).59 A visit to the church by the
author revealed that the chair,
Figure 11. Unusual caquetoire-type
chair, 156080, England (W.54-1948).
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
while of caquetoire style, is
made up from a collection of
fragments of different ages;
the cresting could date from
160050, but the rear stiles
and back and arms with
marquetry are later. A second
chair is the bullet-wood
caquetoire that appeared at
Sotheby’s, London on 22
October 1982, and in the
Littlecote House sale in
1985 (Figure 14).60 The back
has an armorial cresting, an
armorial shield for ‘Roope of
Dartmouth, Devon impaling
Boys or Winterbottom’,
guilloche and palmette
carving on the frame, steeply
sloped, slightly curved arms,
probably with bird’s-mouth
joints, a seat with a torus
moulding and H-stretchers.
The H-stretcher and bird’s-
mouth joint are unusual in a heavily made chair. The palmette feature is often
found in seventeenth-century West Country oak furniture and on some Scottish
caquetoires; it is also popular on French oak furniture. This imposing chair appears
to be a solitary Devon example and was made in 1617 from timber imported from
the Amazon basin by Nicholas Roope, a Dartmouth merchant.61 It shows more
French features than most other British examples and indicates great awareness of
French stylistic trends in a trading port milieu. However, awareness of new styles
is a necessary but not a sufcient condition of their adoption. The distribution of
chairs in Britain that show any caquetoire inuence demonstrates that it remained a
minority taste outside Scotland.
14 the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair
Figure 12. Raked-back chair,
unknown origin. Private collection.
Photo: author.
Having thus outlined the chairs in Britain that showed caquetoire inuence, this section
examines the origins of the design. The emergence of the caquetoire chair in France
around 1560 or 1570 is seen by Janneau as part of the change from the tradition of
heavily built chairs towards light open-arm chairs after 1550 that took place under the
inuence of Philibert de l’Orme, Superintendent of Works under Henri II from 1547,
and the Italian-inuenced court of Catherine de Medici.62 In Italy there seem to have
been few lightly built chairs with arms and rectangular seats in the 15501600 period.
Armchairs were most often strongly built, rarely had turned legs and arm supports,
and frequently had decorated front stretchers with rectangular panels.63 There was
also no tradition of chairs with trapezoidal seats. Hence, light open-arm chairs must
the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair 15
Figure 13. Broxbourne caquetoire-style
chair, Church of St Augustine, Broxbourne,
Hertfordshire. Photo: author.
Figure 14. Roope chair, 1617, Dartmouth.
Photo: Sotheby’s.
be regarded as primarily French in origin. The mid-sixteenth century was a period
when chateaux were being built in the Loire valley and architects published designs
for houses and matching internal furnishings that included classical elements and
motifs. The caquetoire design can be seen as embodying architectural principles: ‘the
multiple columnar leg and arm supports, high backs and applied entablature-like
mouldings are reminiscent of classical façades, or at least those which appear in the
sixteenth-century literature of both Italy and France (Serlio, de l’Orme, Barbaro et
al)’, and the trapezoidal seats ‘allow the legs and arm supports to be off-set so that
they appear like a colonnade or in better perspective’.64
The classically educated upper-class owners and, particularly, it has been argued, those
women who shared in expanded education, adopted a new lifestyle with matching
furnishings.65 The arrival of simple chairs may be linked to the replacement of benches
by side chairs at the dining table, but light arm chairs seem more likely to be connected
with what Mercer describes as the ‘increased role of women in social life’.66 He writes:
on the whole feminine inuence upon furniture was exerted indirectly, but the
appearance, or at any rate the appearance in large numbers, of lightly-made seats and
chairs was hastened and intensied by women’s need and desires. By the early sixteenth
century upper-class women had achieved at least this much independence in some
countries: that they had social occasions of their own from which men were excluded
either by request or, if recalcitrant, by intimidation.67
This quotation suggests that the chair could be both for women and portable. A recent
study shows that aristocratic women in England and Scotland before 1550 undertook
estate management and used social networks based on their family connections to
mobilise nancial support (e.g. in widowhood) and for the political advancement
of their children, contrary to images of their connement in the domestic and non-
political spheres.68
The trapezoidal seat has been presented as an integral part of Renaissance design.
Another possibility is now examined — namely, that armchairs with trapezoidal seats
existed before 1560. A chance purchase in a Budapest bookshop made the author
aware of the 1974 article by Erszébet Vadászi on an unusual pair of caquetoire chairs
in the collection of the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, which are catalogued as
French and from the Auvergne (Figure 15).69 The chairs are heavily built and the back
panels contain ‘rst Renaissance’ decoration with ribbons, dolphins and winged
angels around circular and octagonal central reserves with the initials, PNE and
OKF.70 The chairs have had extensive restoration. Discussion with the curator Balázs
Semsey suggests that the back panels and rear uprights on both chairs are original,
as are the baluster legs and arm supports on 71.43.2 (PNE), all of which are in oak,
but that the scrolling arms (probably of reused oak), seats, seat rails and stretchers on
both chairs and the baluster legs and arm supports on 71.43.1 (mostly in walnut, elm
and beech) are largely replacements.71
16 the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair
Vadászi argues that the carving on the backs and uprights can be dated to 153040
based on similarities with a set of twenty panels at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs,
Paris, which have been attributed to the Chateau d’Assier in Quercy, adjacent to the
Auvergne, one of which bears a 1530 date. The similarities are far from complete
— they do not include the reserves with initials, an infrequent feature — and could
simply indicate a shared design source. She tries to connect the PNE and OKF initials
with Galliot de Genouillac, artillery master of Francis I and Louis XII, who had
the Chateau d’Assier built between 1524 and 1535, but there is no match. Vadászi
the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair 17
Figure 15. Caquetoire-
style chair, with
PNE initials, owned
by Museum of
Applied Art, Budapest.
Photo: Ilka Olajos.
nevertheless proposes a date range of 153040 for the chairs, which would make
them the earliest known caquetoires. She suggests that they are forerunners of the
light caquetoire that emerges after 1560, and that their heavy construction reects
continuing medieval inuence in the rst half of the sixteenth century.
There is no doubt that heavily built ‘thrones’ with high, straight backs with rst
Renaissance panels existed before 1550.72 Moreover, Bonnaffé illustrates a carved panel
from a three-seated chair from Langeac Abbey in the Auvergne that has a garland with
the coat of arms of Jean de Langeac, a local noble and leading envoy of Francis I who
became Bishop of Limoges in 1533.73 This shows that the upper class in this ‘remote’
area was in touch with prevailing styles. One possibility is that the Budapest caquetoires
contain reused panels from such high-back chairs, even if not from the Chateau
d’Assier, to which trapezoidal
seats have been added. A more
probable interpretation starts
from Fligny’s suggestion that
rst Renaissance decoration
continued in use in the
provinces up to fty years
after it was fashionable.74 Two
constructional features of the
Budapest chairs features are
relevant: that the back uprights
(which are considered to be
original) are not straight, as in
the pre-1550 ‘thrones’, but are
slightly raked from the level
of the seat upwards, and that
the legs and arm supports
have baluster turning, a style
that emerges after 1550. The
existence of late, heavily built
caquetoire chairs is shown
by the example with second
Renaissance decoration att-
ributed by Bonnaffé to nearby
Burgundy (Figure 16).75
Vadászi herself notes the pair
of epées, a bandolier bag and
drum on the left upright of
the ‘PNE’ chair, and says that
18 the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair
Figure 16. Caquetoire, Burgundy.
Photo: Bonnaffé (1887).
the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair 19
Figure 17. Detail of the ‘Reading’ tapestry with lady in caquetoire-type chair,
fteenth century, Cluny Museum, Paris. Photo: author.
‘the bandolier bag makes one think of the beggars’ movement in the Netherlands’,
which only started to spread from 1566.76 She rejects this connection since ‘our chairs
were made before this’, an objection which fails if the chairs are 1566 or later. The
interpretation proposed here is thus that the Budapest caquetoires are not forerunners
of the later lighter examples, but provincial contemporaries.
A second chair is a more convincing example of a pre-1550 armchair with a trapezoidal
seat. On a visit to the Cluny Museum in Paris, the author noticed a tapestry showing
a couple (Figure 17). On the right a man stands in a doublet, jerkin and bonnet with
a slashed brim and holding a book, and on the left a woman is seated in an armchair,
with a distaff over her shoulder, in the process of spinning.77 The front and back
uprights appear to have ball nials, and the seat has a denite trapezoidal appearance
and seems to oat near the front legs, where there is a deep turned groove, but no
joint is shown. This suggests that it is a turner’s chair rather than a joined one like
the caquetoire chair. The front legs have vertical red lines, possibly imitating painted
reeding or uting, and a beaded cord winds around them. There is a ring turning
close to the base. The front legs terminate in round discs and the seat is placed on a
stepped plinth, no doubt indicating the woman’s elevated status. There is no footrest.
The cresting rail and arms are covered in a plain, red, fringed tapestry-type fabric and
the sides of the seat and front below the seat have a blue oral tapestry cover. The pink
colour below the latter cover may be a further textile; this may cover a board xed
between the front legs, but this is unclear. Decorative textiles were frequently used to
adorn plain high-status furniture at this time.78
The catalogue describes the scene as ‘Reading’ (La Lecture), the man’s activity, and it
belongs to a series illustrating ‘Seigneurial Life’. What is most interesting, however,
is that it depicts a turner’s chair with a trapezoidal seat, and that the date given to
the tapestry is the rst quarter of the sixteenth century. This date is well before the
dates suggested by Janneau for the start of light armchairs (1550) and caquetoire chairs
(1570). The tapestry has a provenance from the southern Netherlands.
The obvious question is whether the chair in the tapestry is based on an actual chair
and, if so, whether it really has a trapezoidal seat, or whether this is an effect due to
the designer of the tapestry trying to show a square seat in perspective, perhaps in
order to make room for the woman’s ne dress. Béatrice de Chancel-Bardelot, Head
Curator at the Cluny Museum, has conrmed the 150025 date based on the style of
the couple’s costumes. She continues:
The chair which interests you is indeed shown in rather maladroit perspective, but the
artist indeed perhaps wanted to show a trapezoidal seat. For in another tapestry in the
series, Bathing (Le Bain), the bath-tub has a rectangular section and does not appear to
be so deformed.79
20 the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair
It is unusual for sixteenth-century tapestries to show gures seated in chairs, and it
is possible that the design of the ‘Reading’ tapestry was intended as much to draw
attention to this particularly innovative chair as to convey aspects of the seigneurial
Turners’ armchairs, which can be seen in medieval paintings, illuminated
manuscripts and woodcuts, go back to Ancient Egypt and range from elaborate
thrones encrusted with jewels, inlay, metal, ivory, or carved, to plain armchairs and
stools. They usually had rectangular or triangular, not trapezoidal, seats.80 The fact
that a turned chair with a trapezoidal seat existed in the early sixteenth century does
not deny the Renaissance origins of the caquetoire. It simply shows that trapezoidal
seats were known in high-status chairs at that date. The possibility of a link between
the southern Netherlands and the French design sources of the caquetoire remains to
be explored. The Royal Belgian photographic archive includes two tall joined chairs
with trapezoidal seats and simple parchemin and linenfold panels in the back and at
the front, below the seat. These are catalogued as fteenth-century, but it has not been
possible to establish whether they are original or are made up.81 There are also a small
number of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century heavily built caquetoires attributed to
the present-day Netherlands.
The history in this article is incomplete for several reasons. The most important are
that there was no widely used, specic term for caquetoire chairs in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, and that dated French examples are virtually unknown. The
term caquetoire was applied in that period to a quite different type of chair, a low
upholstered women’s chair without arms. The modern use of the term dates only
from the nineteenth century, and the rare 1571 tallemouse reference has been relied
on to date the earliest example in France of the lightly built, high-backed armchair
with a trapezoidal seat. In eastern Scotland and the city of Salisbury the evidence is
somewhat stronger because some dated caquetoires exist.
The immediate origins of the French caquetoire chair clearly lie in one form of light
chair with arms introduced after 1550, when upper-class seating was revolutionised.
Heavily built chairs such as thrones and box armchairs were replaced as part of the
application of coherent design to grand houses and their interiors. Regarding the
period before 1550, it has been argued that the heavily built Budapest caquetoires
are unlikely to be forerunners of the lightly built caquetoire. The possibility that
the trapezoidal seat was known early in the sixteenth century is suggested by
the turner’s chair in the Cluny Museum ‘Reading’ tapestry. Whether there is a
the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair 21
connection between the southern Netherlands and France at the relevant time is yet
to be researched.
If the Renaissance origin of caquetoire chairs is correct, there still remains room
for debate about whether this type of chair is a woman’s chair rather than simply
a portable chair. The argument that they were part of a shift in the social position
of upper-class women in France relies on this identication. How far similar shifts
existed in different countries remains another area for research. Dated examples
show that the caquetoire design reached eastern Scotland (1582) and Salisbury (1585)
relatively quickly. Some general contextual reasons for the arrival of the design have
been offered. It has been suggested that the selective choice of caquetoire features
in the British examples indicates that they were made by local makers rather than
immigrant craftsmen. If this is so, the more numerous caquetoire features adopted
in Scotland could be because French inuence there was greater than in Salisbury.
Many questions remain for future research. How far was the presence of French
craftsmen inuential in the adoption of features of the style in Scotland, and how long
did it continue? Did they work outside as well as through guilds? What skills and
knowledge did they bring? How did caquetoire chairs acquire domestic popularity?
Other unanswered questions include how the raked-back and possible Belgian and
Dutch caquetoires t into the story, and whether the Roope chair was unique, or part
of a local Devon tradition. In brief, this incomplete history opens up numerous areas
for future research on both the production and consumption of this chair type in
Britain, and on the social groups involved in the selective adoption of the design.
The author wishes to thank Béatrice de Chancel-Bardelot and Balázs Semsey for advice on the
Cluny tapestries and Budapest chairs, Nick Humphrey and Geoff Green for access to the V&A
and Broxbourne chairs, Adam Bowett, Ronald Butler, Jane Clarke, Laurence Fligny, Liz Hancock,
Stephen Jackson, David Jones, Michael Pearce and Karl Heinrich von Stülpnagel for documents
and advice, and not least the Editorial Committee of the Furniture History Society for their very
helpful suggestions.
photographic acknowledgements
The author wishes to thank Jan Chinnery (Figures 9 and 10); the Museum of Applied Art, Budapest
(Balázs Semsey) (Figure 15); Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen (David N. Parkinson)
(Figures 7 and 8); and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (Figure 11).
1 The term trapezoidal is used here to refer to seats where the back is markedly narrower than the front;
the seat may have four or six sides. Future research may measure trapezoidal shapes by the ratio of front
22 the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair
to back seat widths, or by an angular measure.
2nition/caquetoire and Edmond Bonnaffé, Le Meuble en France au XVIe siècle
(Paris: Rouam, 1887), p. 226. All websites accessed 16 November 2018.
3 HenryHavard, Dictionnaire de l’Ameublement et de la Décoration depuis le XIIIe siècle jusqu’à nos Jours, 4
vols (Paris: Ancienne Maison Quantin, 1887), , p. 607; Jacques Thirion, Le Mobilier du Moyen-Âge et de la
Renaissance en France (Dijon: Faton, 1998), p. 143. The original is in Latin. Macquoid and Edwards give an
alternative: ‘It cannot be said that their mouths are frozen, at all events I will answer for it on behalf of
the ladies of Paris, who could not refrain from calling their chairs caquetoires.’ Percy Macquoid and Ralph
Edwards, eds, Dictionary of English Furniture, 3 vols (Woodbridge: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1954), , p. 203.
4 Havard, Dictionnaire, , pp. 60710; Nicole de Reyniès,Le Mobilier Domestique: vocabulaire typologique, 2
vols (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1987), , p. 44, n. 3.
5 Peter Thornton, ‘Back-stools and chaises à demoiselles’, The Connoisseur 185, no. 744, (1974), pp. 99105
at p. 102; Guillaume Janneau, Les Sièges, 2 vols (Paris: Fréal, 1975), , p. 12.
6 Janneau, Les Sièges , p. 12.
7 Thornton, ‘Back-stools’, pp. 10203; Peter Thornton, Seventeenth-century Interior Decoration in England,
France and Holland (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1978), p. 186.
8 Janneau, Les Sièges , p. 12.
9 Thornton, ‘Back-stools’, p. 105, n. 8.
10 Bonnaffé, Le Meuble, p. 226.
11 Thornton, ‘Back-stools’, p. 105, n. 8; Nicole de Reyniès,Le Mobilier Domestique , p. 108.
12 Bonnaffé, Le Meuble, p. 226.
13 Janneau, Les Sièges , pp. 1112. In doing so he contradicts his view that the chair originally had no
specic name. De Reyniès, Mobilier Domestique , pp. 10708, captions her pictures ‘fauteuils en tallemouse’.
14 Monique de Fayet, Meubles et Ensembles, Moyen Age et Renaissance (Paris: Massin, 1961), pp. 12, 17,
32; Jacqueline Boccador, Le Mobilier Français du Moyen Age à la Renaissance (Paris: Monelle Hayot, 1988),
pp. 298303; Thirion, Le Mobilier, pp. 14344; Monique Blanc, Le Mobilier Français. Moyen Age Renaissance
(Paris: Massin, 1999), p. 85.
15 Stephen Jackson, ‘Terminology; a further note on the caqueteuse’, Regional Furniture Society Newsletter
40 (2004), p. 24.
16 Michael Pearce, ‘Vanished Comforts: locating roles of domestic furnishings in Eastern Scotland, 1500
1650’ (unpublished PhD thesis, History Department, University of Dundee, 2016). Michael Pearce, person-
al communication to the author, January 2017.
17 Victor Chinnery, Oak Furniture: the British tradition, rev. edit. (Woodbridge: Antique Collectors Club,
2016), pp. 40513.
18 Chinnery, Oak Furniture, g. 3.29. See V&A, W.45-1925, with notes on the V&A website.
19 Chinnery, Oak Furniture, g. 3.32; Tobias Jellinek, Early British Chairs and Seats, 1500–1700 (Woodbridge:
Antique Collectors Club, 2009), p. 105.
20 Janneau, Les Sièges , p. 12.
21 Bonnaffé, Le Meuble, p. 215.
22 For examples, see de Fayet, Meubles, pp. 12, 17, 32; MonicaBurckhardt, Mobilier Moyen Age, Renaissance
(Paris: Massin, n.d.), pp. 3, 76; Boccador, Le Mobilier Français, pp. 298303; Thirion, Le Mobilier, pp. 14345;
Blanc, Le Mobilier Français, pp. 8485; Ader Tajan, Bruno Perrier, Haute Epoque, 2nd sale, Paris (7 December
1993), pp. 109, 114, 118. See also images of the caquetoire and caqueteuse in Google images, major auction
sales and for French museums. The terms rst and second Renaissance refer to
the decorative styles before and after 1530 in France. Gothic style overlapped with Renaissance style, and
the latter with Mannerism.
23 Thirion, Le Mobilier, p. 145. The French museums website has pictures of two rotating examples (chaises
tournantes) at the Chateau d’Ecouen, the national museum of the Renaissance in France.
24 See Chinnery, Oak Furniture, gs 4.65 to 4.74, and Jellinek, Early British Chairs, pp. 10609 for Salisbury
examples. Existing writing on Scottish caquetoires rarely reports on restorations, so one cannot be sure that
arms are original. However, a current study by Stephen Jackson should ll this gap and may modify the
generalisations suggested here.
25 Chinnery, Oak Furniture, p. 411.
the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair 23
26 Liz Hancock, personal communication to the author, January 2017. The 1582 chair is PL.1927.21.3.
27 Chinnery, Oak Furniture, g. 4.94.
28 Aidan Harrison, ‘A Small Scottish Chair’, Regional Furniture 29 (2015), pp. 113.
29 Andrew Hannah, ‘Some Early Scottish Chairs’, Scottish Art Review 5 (1955), pp. 710; David Learmont,
‘The Trinity Hall Chairs, Aberdeen’, Furniture History 14 (1978), pp. 18; Jellinek, Early British Chairs, pp.
17277; Chinnery, Oak Furniture, gs 4.96 to 4.109. The 1621 date has been partially erased on a chair re-
dated 1708 in Chinnery, g. 4.96.
30 There is also a throne-type deacon convenor’s chair given by Matthew Guild in 1570, but this is
made of earlier openwork tracery panels from St Nicholas Kirk, also known as the Mither Kirk. (Personal
communication to the author, David N. Parkinson, ex-Deacon Convenor of the Seven Incorporated Trades
of Aberdeen, February 2017). See also Jellinek, Early British Chairs, p. 170.
31 The back is made of three horizontal boards, and the under-arm panels and under-seat front panel
of two; all have stopped chamfered edges. The seat has four boards xed front to back. There have been
repairs to the back uprights, arms and seat.
32 David N. Parkinson, personal communication to the author, February 2017.
33 Stephen Jackson, ‘Trade Incorporation Ceremonial Chairs’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of
Scotland 127 (1997), pp. 94556.
34 Liz Hancock, personal communication to the author, January 2017, based on Sir William Burrell’s
Purchase Book. Four pine chairs from Provand’s Lordship dating from 1670 to 1695, generally with
simpler carved backs, are shown by Jellinek in Early British Chairs, pp. 11415. Hannah, ‘Some Early
Scottish Chairs’, p. 9, says that caquetoire chairs as a whole are referred to as ‘Aberdeen’ chairs.
35 Harrison, ‘A Small Scottish Chair’.
36 Ronald Butler reports that he has not found pairs of different sizes among Salisbury chairs. Personal
communication to the author, November 2018.
37 Jellinek, Early British Chairs, pp. 10611; Chinnery, Oak Furniture, gs 4.604.75.
38 Chinnery, Oak Furniture, pp. 40507.
39 Ibid., p. 409.
40 Ronald Butler, personal communication to the author, February 2017.
41 Victor Chinnery, ‘A Salisbury Armchair — lost and found’, Furniture History 33 (1997), pp. 4347, and
Chinnery, Oak Furniture, frontispiece and gs 4.61a–c.
42 Future research may dene the elements of the caquetoire style more precisely and track their emergence
43 Chinnery, Oak Furniture, pp. 42022. Channels of Continental European inuence are a current research
interest in Scotland.
44 Sallyanne Simpson, ‘The Choir Stalls and Rood Screens’, in J. Geddes, ed., King’s College Chapel,
Aberdeen, 1500–2000 (Leeds: Northern Universities Press, 2000).
45 The Stirling Castle (Romayne) ‘heads’ that show French inuence have recently been re-dated by
Historic Scotland research to the 1540s. See Kenneth A. Steer, ed., The Stirling Heads (Edinburgh: HMSO,
1975); Historic Scotland Conservation Centre, The Stirling Heads Reports (2014), at: http://sparc.scran.
46 Sally Rush, ‘French Fashion in Sixteenth-century Scotland: the 1539 inventory of James V’s wardrobe’,
Furniture History 42 (2006), pp. 125.
47 Michael Pearce, ‘A French Furniture-maker and the “Courtly Style” in Sixteenth-century Scotland’,
Regional Furniture 32 (2018), pp. 12736.
48 Chinnery, Oak Furniture, p. 409.
49 Information on Salisbury from Ronald Butler, personal communication to the author, November 2018.
50 Christopher Pickvance, ‘The Slow Arrival of Renaissance Inuence on English Furniture: a study of
the 1519 Silkstede, Shanklin and the 1539 Garstang, Cirencester chests’, Regional Furniture 29 (2015), pp.
51 Benno Forman, ‘Continental Furniture Craftsmen in London: 15111625’, Furniture History 7 (1971),
pp. 94120; Lien Luu, Immigrants and the Industries of London, 1500–-1700 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005);
Anthony Wells-Cole, Art and Decoration in Elizabethan and Jacobean England (New Haven and London: Yale
University Press, 1997), pp. 169200; John Allan, ‘Breton Woodworkers in the Immigrant Communities
24 the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair
of South-west England, 15001550’, Post-Medieval Archaeology 48 (2014), pp. 32460; Nicholas Riall, The
Renaissance Stalls at the Hospital of St Cross (Winchester: Hospital of St Cross, 2014); and Pickvance, ‘Slow
52 Luu, Immigrants, pp. 2751, 11421.
53 V&A, W.54-1948. Dimensions: 129.6 cm high, 68.5 cm wide at the front (44 cm at the back), 53.3 deep,
seat height 52 cm (see the museum catalogue entry online).
54 The chair is described as oak and dated to the rst half of the sixteenth century by de Fayet, Meubles,
p. 17; and as walnut, dated to the late sixteenth/early seventeenth century by Burckhardt, Mobilier, p. 76.
55 Laurence Fligny, personal communication to the author, February 2017.
56 National Trust collection nos 997985-6, 1 and 2.
57 National Trust collection nos 997990 and 997991 — the latter, unusually, with turned rear uprights. The
seat of the former is markedly trapezoidal, being 66 cm wide at the front and 50.5 cm at the back (from Jane
Clarke, personal communication to the author, April 2017).
58 The question of Flemish inuence at Sizergh is discussed by Megan Wheeler, ‘Early Elizabethan Chests
at Sizergh Castle’, Regional Furniture 32 (2018), pp. 10325.
59 Fred Roe, Ancient Church Chests and Chairs (London: Batsford, 1929), pp. 3233.
60 Sotheby’s, London, The Contents of Littlecote House, Wiltshire, 2 vols (22 November 1985), , lot 276;
Adam Bowett, Woods in British Furniture-making, 1400–1900: an illustrated historical dictionary (Kew: Oblong
Creative and Royal Botanic Gardens, 2012), pp. 45457, 120 and 199.
61 Bowett, Woods, p. 199.
62 Janneau, Les Sièges , p. 12.
63 Frida Schottmuller, Furniture and Interior Decoration of the Italian Renaissance, 2nd edit. (New York:
Westermann, 1928), pp. 16890; Augusto Pedrini, Italian Furniture. Interiors and Decoration of the Fifteenth
and Sixteenth Centuries (London: Tiranti, 1949), pp. 5062. However, Eric Mercer, in Furniture, 700–1700
(London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1969), p. 108, refers to a ‘petite chaise a femme’ in Louize de Borgia’s
chamber in 1514.
64 My thanks to Megan Wheeler, from whom this quotation is taken.
65 Mercer, Furniture, pp. 11012.
66 Ibid., pp. 10708.
67 Ibid., p. 108.
68 Grace C. Denton-Spalding, ‘From Court to Countryside: aristocratic women’s networks in early Tudor
England, 15091547’ (BA thesis, History Department, Wesleyan University, Connecticut, 2015).
69 Erszébet Vadászi, ‘Deux Caquetoires’, Ars Decorativa 2 (1974), pp. 4560.
70 Inv. nos 71.43.1 (OKF chair) and 71.43.2 (PNE chair). Dimensions: 123 cm high, 66 cm wide, 56 cm deep.
71 Personal communication to the author, May 2016.
72 Bonnaffé, Le Meuble, pp. 21720.
73 Ibid., pp. 10506.
74 Laurence Fligny, Le Mobilier en Picardie, 1200–1700 (Paris: Picard, 1990), p. 121.
75 Bonnaffé, Le Meuble, p. 223. The seat extends beyond the front arm supports on this chair, as on the
Salisbury type but unlike the Scottish examples.
76 Vadászi, ‘Deux Caquetoires’, p. 60, n. 27.
77 For photos of the tapestry (collection number Cl.2182) see (search tapisserie
78 David Starkey, ed., The Inventory of King Henry VIII. The transcript (London: Harvey Miller, 1988).
79 Personal communication to the author, April 2016. The ‘Bathing’ tapestry has collection number Cl.
80 Mercer, Furniture, pp. 4449; R. D. Ryder, ‘Three-legged Turned Chairs’, The Connoisseur 190 (1975), pp.
4247; R. D. Ryder, ‘Four-legged Turned Chairs’, The Connoisseur 191 (1976), pp. 4449; Penelope Eames,
‘Furniture in England, France and the Netherlands from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Century’, Furniture
History 13 (1977), pp. 1303 at pp. 18485.
81 See, objects 97471 and 10128464.
the c aq ue to ir e or caqueteuse chair 25
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
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The paper assembles documentary evidence which shows that there was a substantial community of immigrants in south-west England in the early 16th century. In Cornwall these people came largely from Brittany; in Devon their origins were more varied. They included a surprising number of carpenters and carvers - many Breton, some 'Dutch'. Various examples of ecclesiastical and domestic woodwork surviving in the region, including some of the finest examples of craftsmanship of the period, are attributed to these immigrants, and stylistic and technical features are proposed for distinguishing their output from local English work.
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Seventeenth-century Interior Decoration in England
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Janneau, Les Sièges i, pp. 11-12. In doing so he contradicts his view that the chair originally had no specific name. De Reyniès, Mobilier Domestique i, pp. 107-08, captions her pictures 'fauteuils en tallemouse'.
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