Thursday - 18 December 2014

Northumberland is a fair favourite venue

21 February 2014Written by Anna Brady

Six years ago, Ingrid Nilson of The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited held her first ‘Luxury Antiques Weekend’ in Northumberland, at Linden Hall Hotel Golf & Country Club near Morpeth.

Although other 'LAW' venues have come and gone, Linden remains and the fair returns for a seventh time from March 7-9 with some 30 exhibitors as usual.

Among them is local dealer Graham Smith Antiques from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who has exhibited at Linden every year since its genesis.

This time he will take this ladies' Orkney chair, made in the late 19th or early 20th century from black oat straw and bent grass, bound together with cord made from twisted bent grass, within an oak frame.

Those Orkney crofts were draughty places and local people started to make their own chairs out of humble materials such as straw and grass, originating as low stools covered with straw before developing into low chairs, and eventually the more sophisticated high-backed version to effectively keep the draft out, such as that seen here which stands 2ft 8in (82cm) high.

Like many such chairs, this example is unsigned but Graham thinks it could be a D.M. Kirkness chair which were made at the end of the 19th century, as similar examples can be seen in Bernard D Cotton's book on Scottish Vernacular Furniture, and it is priced at £875.

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