These imposing antique French Gothic chairs are made of walnut wood and measure 9.5 feet tall. In French, they are referred to as Chayeres or Cathedres, and sometimes we call them throne chairs. These types of chairs first appeared in France toward the end of the Middle Ages, and the Gothic carved chairs with canopies, toward the end of the 15th century. They were designed for the Lords or Masters of the House, and as a kind of honorary seat for Bishops. The chairs below have the characteristic high backs, but they also have the arching canopies, much like the carved saints on the facades of Gothic Cathedrals throughout France. The shape also acted as a sort of soundproofing which helped amplify the sounds from the pulpit. The examples from the middle ages were mostly carved out of oak.
Our chairs are carved from French walnut wood and were assembled using large original sections of most likely 16th century cathedres (sides, backs, armrests, and sections of the canopies original). The vertical rails, seats, parts of floor moldings, and some of the uppermost elements were replaced in the 19th century. The sides are carved with beautiful Gothic motifs of arcading, tracery, foils, qautrefoils, finials, and more. All four sides of the armrests have carved round medallions with fantastical animals, birds, and foliate motifs. These are impressive chairs of an imposing size, and all the more rare to see a pair.
CONDITION: Restorations to age splits along upper panels, minor nicks and rubs to wood, scratches, traces of old woodworm throughout, wear to finish in areas.