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Commode Chair, England, c.1775

One of the more sensible inventions of centuries past was the commode chair. They were considered a very matter-of-fact item by polite society during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was not at all unusual for wealthier homes to include commode chairs in guest bedrooms and also in common areas, such as the parlor. Commode chairs of the era were not just practical; they were often handsomely crafted pieces of furniture like this Hepplewhite example in solid mahogany. In some homes, the chair would be set behind a screen at one end of a room, allowing guests to slip behind the screen as a sensible way to continue participating in the conversation or not get behind in the parlor games….it was often a long, cold trip to the privy!

37” tall at back
22” wide across arms