English early 19th Century. The carved pediment with a mustached gentleman flanked by beasts above the script DIEV DEPEND LE DROIT (Motto of the Spencer family of Althorp Park) “God Defends the Right”. A sunken panel depicting a knight by a castle and a rising sun flanked by arched corbels, the date 1651 carved above a solid seat.
The rear of the chair with a later plaque stating “In memory of Brigadier Hugh Willan D.S.O. M.C. 1882-1960”,
Willan served in the First World War and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1916 and the Military Cross (MC).
He was Commander of the 10th Infantry Brigade, 1934–38 and concurrently Aide-de-camp to Kings George V, Edward VIII and George VI.
Additionally, to the rear of the chair can be found the remains of an old paper label reading “with boldly carved pediment, paneled back, bearing the date 1651 (from Sir Walter Scott’s collection)
Sir Walter Scott of Abbotsford 1st Baronet FRSE FSAScot ( 1771- 1832), Scottish historian, novelist, poet, and playwright, was a prolific ‘gifter’ of items to friends and associates, and indeed sold a great deal of personal effects from his Edinburgh home in 1826 after getting into major financial difficulties. According to the research team at Abbotsford it is very possible it was moved on during this time.
Winchester Cathedral confirms the chair was gifted to them in the Brigadiers memory. The chair can be seen prominently displayed in the nave, next to the pulpit in various images of the Cathedral.
The chair was then deaccessioned by the Cathedral when they underwent a large £19 million restoration program from 2012- 2019 and finally sold by them in 2022.
87cm wide, 147cm high, 77cm deep.