A high-back tavern settle, West Country, England, 18th century. Estimate £5,000–7,000.
LONDON – This extraordinary settle made of fruitwood and elm is not only a piece of furniture but an example of folk art in its own right. The seat is made of one single elm plank, around which a master carpenter has crafted the rest of the settle, employing techniques associated with a boat builder or cooper. If it could only speak, it would most certainly have tales to tell of those who came in from the cold, on dark West Country nights, seeking conversation and a pint of ale.