Maker: Thomas Butler
Category: Campaign Furniture
This mahogany chair bed is a design commonly associated with the Catherine Street makers of Thomas Butler and Morgan and Sanders. The pine frame folds out to convert the chair to a bed with a pair of turned legs screwed into the end to support it. This version also has a pair of hinged, plain pine legs that drop down from the middle of the extended frame to further support it at would otherwise be a weak point. These legs were not part of the original manufacture but probably added not long after. The back and sides of the chair are hinged to fold flat against the seat to reduce the size for travel and the sides are also completely removable to add versatility.
This chair bed would have been sold with posts and a hinged canopy to turn it into a tent bed but, as is often the case, they have been separated from the chair bed with time. Butler's brass plaque is fixed to the front of the pine frame and gives his address as 13 & 14 Catherine Street, Strand, London. Butler was one of the pioneers of portable furniture at the turn of 1800 and enjoys a good reputation for his work. The high sides of this chair offers protection from draughts and gives a wide seat as well as being a useful spare bed. Circa 1805.