A set of Regency mahogany metamorphic library steps, this sturdy armchair unfolds to reveal four leather-inset steps which rest on the cresting rail. It has a generous seat with a fitted, re-upholstered, leather seat cushion. The shaped rail, scroll arms and front legs are reeded. The splat and corners have carved fan-shaped elements. English, circa 1815.
Susan Stuart (ibid.), discusses ‘ladders for libraries and ‘step’ or metamorphic chairs’ in Vol. II pp106-108. Plate 654 shows the design for a step chair made for Ferguson & Co. in 1834. Meanwhile the design for a side chair with similar decorative elements, from 1813, is illustrated in Vol. I p221, pl 204.d.