Chair of the month for June is this rush-seated chair, made for St Paul’s Cathedral, London. It was made in High Wycombe, probably at Walter Skull’s factory in the 1870s.

The workers who made rush seats were knows as ‘matters’. Before the 1880s when local women could still find work as lace makers, most chair seat matters were men. As the hand-made lace industry declined, women began making rush seats. From 1880 onwards, most matters were women.

This chair can be seen in the Hidden Hands exhibition at Wycombe Museum until 10 September. There is a lot more information about chair matting and other Chilterns crafts done by women in the exhibition.

Find out more about the exhibition ‘Hidden Hands: Women and Work in the Chilterns

Chair of the Month is a partnership between Wycombe Museum and the Regional Furniture Society.

More Chairs of the Month:

Visit Wycombe Museum

Opening Hours

Wycombe Museum Galleries
Mon: Closed
Tues - Fri: 10am - 4pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: 10am - 4pm

Windsor Chair Cafe
Mon: Closed
Tues - Fri: Open 10am – 3pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: Open 10am – 3pm

Wycombe Museum Gardens
Mon: Closed
Tues - Fri: 10am - 5pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: 10am - 5pm


Wycombe Museum
Priory Avenue
High Wycombe
HP13 6PX

01494 957210

Support Us
close slider

Support Us

Get involved and help us to continue to promote a love of heritage, culture and the arts to the local and wider community for years to come.