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date: 19 August 2019

High Wycombelocked

  • Brian Austen

Extract

English centre of furniture production. The town is situated in Buckinghamshire near the Chiltern Hills, where there is a plentiful supply of timber, particularly beech. The ‘Windsor’ chair, with which High Wycombe is particularly associated, was available in the London market c. 1720, and London chairmakers drew from the High Wycombe area billets of beech and probably such turned components as legs and stretchers. Turners, known as ‘bodgers’, would fell timber and directly convert it on simple pole lathes. Complete chairs were probably being manufactured in the High Wycombe area by the mid-18th century. Furniture workshops first appeared in the town after 1750, using turned components produced by the ‘bodgers’, making other parts such as the seat and assembling complete chairs for wholesale or retail sale. Four makers were listed in a directory of 1784, three being members of the Treacher family, and in the 1790s William Treacher was offering ‘Windsor, dyed and fancy chairs’. Another early maker was ...

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