Friar's chair

Friar's chair

Inv. No. CE3/00430

This 16th century wooden armchair has a leather seat and back finished with circular metal tacks.

The friar’s chair, named after its use in convents, is of Italian origin. It gradually became part of 16th century Spanish furniture and was soon one of its most iconic pieces. It is formed by a simple linear frame. The legs are joined together by a wide stretcher that can occasionally be of fretwork design. They were typically made from walnut with a leather seat and back.

The Spanish version of this chair boasts little decorative carving except on the supports. However, in some models, the seat and the back are adorned with rich, embroidered fabrics or polychrome embossed leather, in addition to the bronze or silver tacks.

This type of armchair is typical of the 16th and 17th centuries. However, in the 19th century, historicist styles of past eras such as Rococo, Renaissance and Gothic were often revisited. This explains why there are friar’s chairs that date from the 19th century, like those exhibited in the the Sala de personajes ilustres (first floor).

Item displayed in the Architectural Ceramics Room, second floor.