The chair is a high-backed armchair with a rush seat, and it follows the general pattern of Clissett’s spindleback armchairs. But this one has a spindle pattern not previously seen on an armchair, and is an elongated version of the most complex of Clissett’s known patterns – known only from one or two side chairs by Philip himself (chair no 10 on the spindleback chair page), and by his brother-in-law William Cole (chair no 3 in the WC section of the relatives’ chairs page). The pattern is based on other Clissett patterns, but includes a ball with V-cut below at the top, an ovolo with taper below at the bottom, and a double V-cut (instead of the usual single) at the mid-constriction.
While the fancy spindle singles this chair out as something special, additional turned rings on the front legs add to the distinction – there are two extra below each arm support turning, and two extra above the feet. Similar additional rings are seen on the fanciest of Clissett and Cole’s side chairs, which have equivalent fancy spindles.
The last distinctive feature of this chair is the single front stretcher, in contrast to Clissett’s almost universal double stretcher. The only other exception to his double rule are, again, the fanciest of side chairs which sport the only known examples of Clissett pattern-turned stretchers .
Overall, this chair is the most complex armchair by Philip Clissett found to date. Certainly, there will be others out there. Please get in touch if you know of any.