The National Coal Mining Museum for England welcomes a very unique addition to the Coal Meters’ Collection.

This summer will see a most unusual object take residence at the National Coal Mining Museum for England. On 2 June 2015 the Coal Meters’ Committee gathered once again at the museum, this time to see a unique coal chair on display.

Showing here for the first time, the ornate chair, in William IV style, will be on display in the museum’s galleries for the public to see. The chair forms part of the Coal Meters’ collection which is housed at the Museum.  Some new items from this collection, which was brought together to commemorate the long history of the coal trade between the north-east and London, will also be on display from 2 June.

Scottish coal owners during the mid-nineteenth century had tables and chairs made from parrot coal as well as whole dinner services. This coal, which was supposed to chatter like a parrot when burnt, was used to make coal gas but also could be carved and polished.

At some time in its history the chair had been badly damaged and one leg was entirely detached. It needed conservation work to be fit for display and was transported to a specialist furniture conservator based in Scotland to receive expert treatment, although it is now too fragile to use. Its conservation has been generously funded by private donors.

Rosemary Preece, Curatorial Director at the museum comments,

“We are thrilled to be opening this for the Coal Meters Committee, especially given that it is such an unusual addition to the collection. It’s wonderful that that we are able to offer visitors the chance to view the growing collection too.”

For information about the Museum and its galleries, visit www.ncm.org.uk or call 01924 848806.

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