Small Dutch oak folding church chair, kerkstoeltje, with velvet upholstery
Mid 17th century
H. 73.5 x W 36 x D. 45 cm
This small church chair, known in the 17th century as predickstoel (sermon chair) was meant to be taken to church to sit on, generally by women only, during the sermon in the otherwise relatively empty church. Another folding church chair made of rosewood and
ebony with twisted columns in the back, is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum (inv. no. R.B.K. 16073). The model of the present chair, with two rows of balusters in the back, is illustrated in one of the furniture designs by Crispijn de Passe II (1593/94 – after 1670). This model was made in the Dutch East Indies as well. In a private collection in Japan, there
is a Japanese transition-style lacquered folding church chair, dated 1630-1650, probably based on an ebony Dutch East Indian model (Oliver Impey & Christiaan Jörg, Japanese Export Lacquer 1580-1850, Amsterdam 2005, ill. 292).