The Taunton Castle Chairs
W armchair 24 × H single 36 × D single 15
Stock # Marh0445
Three single chairs and a single armchair, In November 2001, a set of six 'Charles ll oak upholstered chairs' from the renowned Peter Gwynn Collection were sold by Sotheby's as 'The Taunton Castle Chairs'. They were described as being part of a set of twelve chairs removed from Taunton Castle in 1873, and were believed to have been used in the court held at the castle over which Judge Jeffries presided at the Bloody Assize of 1685. A seventh chair from the set was known to have been in the collection of Fred Roe, and was recorded and illustrated in his book Old Oak Furniture (1905). This chair is now in Taunton Castle Museum, inventory number B391, and matches this set of four, except that two of the present chairs have front stretchers with opposing twist. Taking into account the fact that backstools are not plentiful and examples with barley twist front stretchers are uncommon, it seems highly probable that the present chairs sourced in the West Country are part of this historic set of twelve. The chairs have had some restoration and have been re-upholstered.