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Special Museum Quality 1700s Folk Art Snake Carved Alsatian Chair

Special Museum Quality 1700s Folk Art Snake Carved Alsatian Chair

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A fantastic and extremely rare antique European folk art carved chair in lovely condition. Most likely made around 1770 in the Alsace region bordering France, Switzerland and Germany, this fabulous museum-quality historical artefact is a wonderfully decorative, exquisitely carved and still very usable chair, which will add rustic folk art culture, fascination and beauty to any setting.


An incredibly rare and special chair, this is made of quality solid wood and has a charming walnut single-piece trapezoid seat with lovely grain, which the eight-sided legs slot into at an angle, and the back vertically. The legs are likely made from oak with the amazing back carved from fruitwood.


A beautiful and fascinating chair, the standout feature is its exquisite back. Wonderfully carved in two parts, it depicts two intertwining figure-of-eight snakes set on a wavy plinth and with an adjoining crown. The carving is extremely detailed and ‘authentic 1700s’, being entirely pierce-carved, unlike later versions, which feature animals carved onto a solid backboard.


The beautifully sculpted snakes symbolise healing and protection and the date ‘1471’ is carved on the crown. As these rare chairs were particularly the fashion in the Alsace region during the turbulent mid-to-late 1700s, we think the chair could have one of two histories: Either the 1471 date signifies an important tri-centenary anniversary and that the chair was carved three-hundred years later, in 1771; or that the back comes from an earlier 1471 carved piece, which was reused when making the chair three-hundred or so years later, around 1770.


Sometimes referred to as Swiss, German, Alpine, Tyrolean or Sgabello chairs, Alsatian chairs of this age and quality are extremely rare. We’ve only seen a handful of similar examples, mostly in museums and nowhere near the quality of this exceptional chair. This is a stunning, authentic and enchanting once-in-a-lifetime find and a very special historical folk art gem!



This is in very good condition, especially for its considerable age. Structurally sound and built to last from quality woods, it holds the weight of an adult and can be used for seating, though we would recommend using it more as a decorative object and occasional chair to preserve its longevity. There are minor marks, blemishes and a few historical woodworm holes, as you’d expect with a chair of its age, but overall it’s in remarkable condition and retains its authentic and wonderfully aged look. It has been treated for woodworm for good measure and if well looked after it should last for another 250 years or more – please see the photos.






UK delivery price quoted, collection also available from Warwick. Please CONTACT US FOR INTERNATIONAL DELIVERY QUOTES - the current International delivery quote is just a place-holder. 



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