It is years – decades – since I saw one of these, but I grew up with an oak one, Jacobean-black, made by my great-grandfather and always commandeered by my ample grandfather when he visited, to the extent that my mother referred to it as ‘Daddy’s chair’ (which didn’t prevent my stepfather flogging it when he needed some dosh).
It had a phrase frieze-carved along the back which curved around two sides. I used to read it but can’t remember what it was – I’ve asked my brothers, see if they can remember. We also had a heavy oak dining table, a whacking thick slab of wood sitting on powerful pedestals, and a grandfather clock. They all disappeared into the slough of quick-cash generation.
‘Poyser might sit down if he liked, she thought: she wasn’t going to sit down, as if she’d give in to any such smooth-tongued palaver. Mr Poyser, who looked and felt the reverse of icy, did sit down in his three-cornered chair.’
Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 390