19th century invalids chair with movable arm rests, reclining back, gout stool on a ratchet all in in fine cows hide. Signed with makers/dealers label, J WARD to the reverse.
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ProvenanceThe label possibly a dealer's rather than a manufacturer's label.John Ward went into partnership with Thomas Griffin, invalid chair-maker, 6 Leicester Square in about 1845. By 1851 Griffin had retired and Ward continued trading until 1903. Ward's chairs are often inscribed with his name.
ExhibitionsThe Invalids Chair is not to be confused with the Bath Chair, which is a rolling chaise or light carriage with a folding hood, which can be open or closed, and a glass front. Used especially by invalids, it is mounted on three or four wheels and drawn or pushed by hand. It is so named from its origin in Bath, England, and possibly also after its similarity in appearance to an old-fashioned bathtub. If required, the chair can be mounted on four wheels and drawn by a horse, donkey or small pony with the usual turning arrangement. James Heath, of Bath, who flourished before the middle of the 18th century, was the inventor.