Child's high chair, Coatbridge, 1880s-1900s

High chairs are a good way of sitting a small child for eating and drinking. They combine height - which puts the child in an adult's line of sight, as well as allowing them to be fed from a a more comfortable standing position - with a pull-down table that doubles up as an arrestor, preventing the child from falling out.

Usually they have a vertical bar or strap at the front-centre of the seat (which the child's legs would be placed either side of) to prevent them slipping down and under the table, but there doesn't seem to be one in this example. More modern chairs might also have seatbelts to make sure a child doesn't slide through or fall over the side of the chair.

As with many pieces of furniture that are especially for small children (who eventually outgrow them), high chairs tend to be passed through families or to friends and neighbours who might have need. This particular chair came from a home in Hillfoot Drive, Coatbridge. The style of its frame was very popular in the late Victorian period (from about 1880 to 1900), suggesting it dates to this time, with its sturdy curved legs able to fold out so that it doubled as a rocking chair.

Museum reference:
On display:
In Storage: Museums
height: 970mm
width: 560mm
depth: 340mm
Explore similar items