This is the best example of the “Christmas tree” low back Windsor I have seen (the design of the piercing in the splat gives it the name Christmas tree). The top splat is cut from a piece of burr yew, the arms, hoop and legs all beautifully marked with “pippy” grain. The saddle seat is well grained elm and there is a single reed or scribe line around the hoop.
I have never seen a Christmas tree chair with an impressed maker’s mark, but there is a line drawing on Isaac Allsop’s trade card, which would suggest he manufactured such chairs. Whatever, I am quite sure that these are Worksop in origin. Interestingly, the price quoted on the trade card is 13 shillings, or 65p in today’s money.
Very fine rich yew wood colour in an untouched condition.
Worksop, Nottinghamshire, circa 1845.
For further reading on this maker and the Worksop chairmaking tradition, see The English Regional Chair, by Bernard D Cotton, pages 180 to 190.