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Portable Arm Chair by Allen


Maker: J.W. Allen

Category: Archive

Subcategory: Seating

This type of satin birch chair was commonly known as a Douro although Allen called theirs a Portable Arm Chair.

Originally, it would have travelled in a packing case that formed a separate dressing table, a design made by a number of manufacturers. Their adverts and those of other makers that we have seen suggest that Allen's stand out by having a shaped back like this one, as opposed to a square one. Allen's adverts show that they made this type of chair from the 1850's onwards. However, all those illustrated are part of Allen's Barrack Room Outfit set and have leather strap arms. This chair has arms that are part leather strap and part wood with upholstered pads. As they are superior it is probable that this chair was originally sold as a better quality, individual item.

Once the arms are unbolted, the chair folds on its X-frame legs. The different rings to the leather straps can be used to adjust the angle of the chair's back. The chair has a brass pressed plaque with Allen's details and a stencil to the sacking cushion support. Mid to late 19th century.

  • Dimensions:
    H 83.5cm x W 58cm x D 76.5cm
    H 32¾" x W 22¾" x D 30"

  • Period: Mid to late 19th century.
  • Medium: Satin Birch
  • Country: England
  • Signed: J.W. Allen
  • Exhibition: Brass Bound & Portable
  • Reference Number: 7492