Chamber Horse Chair - Object of the month

Bolling Hall

January 2017

Gemma Bailey, our Curatorial Intern of Social History and Technology chose the Object of the Month for January…

“In a corner of the red room at Bolling Hall there is a strange looking chair with a built-up leather seat. This chamber horse was used by affluent families in the 18th century to take exercise indoors. The chair has long springs that fasten vertically and make a motion similar to riding a horse. Horse riding was seen as an acceptable form of exercise for wealthy people and this chair allowed them to exercise indoors even when the weather outside was poor.

I chose this object, firstly, because of its unusual design and a curiosity to find out more. I also think its interesting to see the similarities between an 18th century household and society today, where people prefer to go to a gym and exercise indoors on a specially built device rather than go outside!”

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