AT Waterloo, Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) is supposed to have directed the battle from a position near the crossroads of the Brussels and Ohain roads.
Within a few years of the battle, a nearby
elm tree that may have been his observation post had been largely
cut into pieces by souvenir hunters and the makers of
According to accounts at the time, it was
John George Children of the British Museum who 'saved' the remains
of the dying tree and commissioned a number of pieces of furniture
to be made with the timber. An account of 1836 records the
manufacture of two chairs, one given to Queen Victoria and another
to Wellington himself. Other items have appeared on the market in
It was during an autumn valuation morning at
the Chipping Norton branch of Gloucestershire auctioneers
Tayler and Fletcher, that valuer Stephen Sheppard
was shown a photograph of a Regency period elm cross-frame chair,
proudly displaying the name Wellington in brass lettering
to the top rail. A brass plaque, shown below,was inscribed:
This chair is formed from a tree which
grew on the plains of Waterloo, and under which the Duke of
Wellington stood during a great portion of the day on which he
achieved the most glorious of his many Victories. The wood was
given to me by J.G. Children Esq., of The B. Museum, who purchased
the entire tree of its proprietor E.V.U.
The vendor believes it had been purchased by
a descendant at a country house sale in Oxfordshire during the
1950s. Valuation is difficult, but at the Pittville Pump Room,
Cheltenham on March 1, the newly-styled Wellington Chair will carry
an estimate of £5000-8000.
Contact 01451 821666.