The Hidden History of the Planter’s Chair – A Glimpse into Colonial Life

Source: 1StDibs

British colonial style, design of a planter’s chair from the days of the British control of tea and spices in India and Asia, made of teakwood has its arm styled as a plank having a curved end and joined by a flat head of a dowel to another almost identical plank that swings out to form the foot rest. These planks are placed under the arms whey not in use They are very much in use in hospitals today. The front ones are turned and ornamented and come to pegs while the back ones are square and moderately raked and have a central stretcher. Another stretcher joins the two front as well as the two rear legs. Sitting, the front feet are somewhat elevated and this causes the chair to be sloped forward slightly. This has recently been re-caned right across the front and across the back as one piece which is normally how colonial chairs were made. In regards to a vertically oriented height of the seat – it is 43 cm or 17 inches.

source: reddit/ Chwk540

The chair’s first representation is in ‘’The Early Repast’’, an art piece done by Alexander W. Phillips in 1851. This painting is one of the four works depicting a hunt for the boar, sport that was especially beloved by British officers in India.

The chairs were also advertised in the Army & Navy of 1907 in the Barnack & Camp Equipment section. Since this was not a custom design but was offered on the catalogue indicating Wascheneck offered stock designs to colonies in Britain, then it implies the chairs were part of a range of standard models. Army and Navy offered two varieties: There was the ‘Indian chair’ an elaborate chair with a teak frame and caned seat and back and ‘Watherston’ a chair made from Ash with a green canvas back and seat.

‘The Morning Shave’ – from a series of postcards.
source: Higginbotham and Company