Summary of Bath Chair
This Bath Chair was built by John Ward of London in the late nineteenth century. John Ward was a renouned builder of such chairs. Upholstered in green baize and painted in black this bath chair would have enabled its occupant to take some air in comfort.
The bath chair was devised by James Heath of Bath, in about 1750 as a discreet mode of transport for ladies and invalids. It rivalled the sedan chair and ultimately superseded it as a form of conveyance. It was steered by the occupant with an attendant on foot pushing from behind.
Height: 3ft 6 1/2"
Length: 2ft 5"
Width: 5ft 7"
Front wheel diameter: 1ft
Rear wheels diameter: 2ft 2"
A Bath chair steered by the occupant and propelled by an attendant. The body is of an angular profile and is sprung on single leaf elliptic springs. This chair has two large side wheels and a smaller front wheel, which is controlled by a metal frame and vertical cross bar with a cylindrical wooden handle, for the sitter's use. At the back, two metal stems rise up from the chair's base to form a further cross-bar with a cylindrical wooden fitting, to allow controlled movement from the reverse. Upholstered in green cloth and painted in black.
On a brass plate on the back of the back seat: John Ward Ltd, 246/7(?)
All structure and components appear to be sound. The tyres are very worn but intact. The front tyre is so heavily worn that an interesting construction is revealed – it appears to be stitched with wire. The trimming has been extensively damaged, possibly by mice, as well as the usual moth damage.
This Bath Chair is currently in the care of the National Trust at Tyntesfield House.
The National Trust