A wooden chair with a wicker seat.
Highchair from the Eldon House collection

Country of Origin: likely England  
Year: ca. 1870s 
Materials: Walnut wood, cane, and metal   

Highchairs start to exist in the late 1700s and are meant to be used for toddlers. These chairs allowed flexibility to mother’s as it allowed them to sit and feed the children, rather than kneel or have kids on their laps. Highchairs are items that are frequently passed down through families. This one, is a Harris Family piece, and was likely used by a couple generations. It is made of wood and cane, and it a fairly simple piece. Two metal rings are fixed at each side of the seat would have held a belt to be fastened around the waist of the sitter.  Children in upper class families, like the Harris’ would not have eaten with their family majority of the time. Children were ‘seen and not heard’ as per the Victorian motto, and would traditionally eat in the nursery, or later would eat in the kitchen with the servants. Once they reached an age of maturity, around 14 or 16, they would begin eating with their families.