This is the oldest Windsor chair in Wycombe Museum’s collection, made in the 1740s. At the time when this chair was made, High Wycombe was not yet a centre for chair making. This would take another 60-70 years. This chair was made in what is now part of Slough, by John Pitt – one of the earliest known Windsor chair makers and possibly the earliest maker with chairs that survive. It is one of only four remaining chairs by this maker and the only one in a Museum or public collection.
It was not unusual for chairs made in the 1740s to be painted but it is rare for the original painted surface to survive in this condition. The coat of arms on the back of the chair is for the City of Bath. It is likely that a travelling dignitary stopping in Slough for refreshment saw John Pitt’s chairs and ordered this one for a building in Bath. John Pitt’s workshop was on the main route between London and Bath.
Museum number HIWLH : 2007.44