Arundel Museum’s object of the month

Sedan chair
Sedan chair

In 1972, when the chair first arrived at Arundel Museum – then situated in the basement of the town hall – it was in terrible condition with the leather covering torn and loose, and the interior upholstery hanging in tatters.

The roof was smashed and part of the floor was missing.

It was put into the hands of antique furniture restorer, Major Michael Hay-Will, of Burpham.

Following research at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Major spent some 100 hours, over a period of several months, on the work, during which time the roof and floor were repaired, and the leather exterior was repaired or replaced, as required.

The interior was re-upholstered in crimson damask.

The chair was reputedly used by the town mayor.

The back of the chair bears a small brass coronet of the period 1750-1820, which appears to be that of an Earl or Countess, but no Earl was ever a mayor of Arundel.