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Welsh oak boarded chair of a type developed for the use of
travelling exhorters - who preached on the open hillsides to large
and enthusiastic congregations. Reputedly used by Howell Harris,
leader of the Calvinistic Methodists,
early 18th century
piece is featured in: "Welsh Furniture 1250-1950"
One of the most innovative furniture forms found in Wales was the moveable pulpit, first produced for the gatherings of nonconformists held in farmhouses in the mid-18th century, and often later used during the revivals of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
This pulpit from the St. Davids area utilised the same craft techniques found in the production of objects such as pig benches and cheese presses. Of a timeless form, it was probably used by itinerant exhorters to address the vast congregations which gathered on the hillsides in the late 18th century.
Most examples doubled as domestic seats and were used by a preacher from the rear. This example was formed of slabs of oak simply nailed together, and was reputedly used by Howell Harris, the leader of Welsh Methodism, on his regular visits to north west Carmarthenshire in the mid-18th century.
Many pulpits were adaptations of earlier pieces by the addition of a lectern to the back of a chair.