Jason Clarke Antiques

Cased Mid Victorian Miniature Saleman's Sample Wheelchair


For sale a cased Victorian miniature salesman’s sample wheelchair.

This unusual and very well-made beech miniature has sabre front legs, rattan seat and decorative back slats akin to a mid-Victorian desk chair. As you would expect, it incorporates a large wheel either side with attached bentwood circular rail to allow for self-propulsion and in place of the back legs is a large single metal bound rear wheel which spins on a vertical axle. The side wheels are nicely executed from individual sections and then metal bound which shows the level of care and attention that the firm took in producing these models for their salesmen.

The accompanying case for the wheelchair contains a pen inscription stating the following:

“With a little practice this chair is moved with the greatest facility in any direction. You may have the chair itself made in any shape you like. I think this model is on the scale of two inches to the foot”.

This chair is somewhat earlier than the styles retailed by the likes of Leveson and John Carter who were the largest manufacturers of invalid furniture in the latter part of Queen Victoria’s reign. With the style of the chair itself and its large rear wheel it would suggest a date closer to about 1870 or earlier.

From the joint work through to the decoration, this rare miniature sample is a joy to examine, it measures, just 16cms in height, width and depth and has been executed with the same level of care as its larger counterpart.

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