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The Juan Nan (Watterson) family armchair

Date made: c.1700

Description: The Juan Nan (Watterson) family armchair (c.1700)

This rather battered old oak armchair was donated to the Manx Museum from the Watterson family of Ballahane, Rushen in 1938 and had been in the same family home since 1700. The chair has been much used, repaired, well-loved and has seen much change on the Island. It has been handed down from generation to generation. It is claimed in the Museum records that the father of Methodism John Wesley climbed upon this chair and used it as a pulpit when preaching on the Island in either 1777 or 1781.

The construction of the chair itself is also very unusual. It is one a small number of armchairs identified as uniquely ‘Manx’ in style, rather than replicating English styles. The chair has been made using a tradition of agricultural joinery, rather than typical furniture joinery, using segments of reclaimed wood shaped using a side-axe and draw knife. The seat stretchers of this chair show nail marks which indicate that the chair has had a succession of fabric or leather seats rather than wooden ones. It is exceptionally rare.

Measurements: overall: 103 x 58 x 56 cm

Materials: metal: iron, wood: other, oak

Object name: chair

Collection: Furniture Collection

ID Number: 1954-4467

Subject tags : #MM100COLLECTIONS


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