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An oak Gossip armchair and chair by Wheeler of Arncroach

An oak Gossip armchair and a matching side chair by William Wheeler, the pierced vase shaped splats above leather covered drop in seats on square supports joined by understretchers circa 1905

William Wheeler of Arncroach in Fife was the local wright to the nearby family home of the Lorimers at Kellie Castle. Wheeler started business as a joiner and wheel wright in Carnbee in 1877. he began to make vernacular Chippendale chairs for Sir Robert Lorimer in the 1880s using local timbers. His most popular designs was the Gossip chair a low fireside chair that could easily be used by childen or adults.In 1913 it is recorded that an armchair would cost 50 shillings and a side chair 28 shillings. They were very popular wedding presents amongst the local Fife community.

A pair of Gossip side chairs by Wheeler were photographed in the drawing room at Kellie Castle c1906. See Scottish Houses and Gardens from the Archives of Country Life by Ian Gow (Aurum Press 1997) pages 50 & 51.

850

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