H976.35.50 - The Barkley chair, 1787

Catalogue Number
Object Name
Origin Country
Straits Settlements
Origin Municipality
1750s, 1760s, 1770s
1750 to 1775
Artifact History

Frances Barkley, the original owner of this chair, was the first European woman to view the coast of what would later be called British Columbia. She accompanied her husband, Captain Charles William Barkley, on a three-year honeymoon aboard the SS. Imperial Eagle, so she was present when the ship entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca in 1787. The chair was made in Malacca between 1750 and 1775. It was presented to the Vancouver Archives for the people of Vancouver by the Barkleys' great-great-grandson, Major V.A.H. Denne of Gloustershire, England in 1955. See letter Major J.S. Matthews to Major Denne, December 14, 1955 in Doc. Spec. file.

Barclay St. in Vancouver is a misspelling of Barkley and is named after Captain Charles Barkley.

Original Owner
Barkley, Charles William (Captain) and Barclay, Frances (Mrs.)
Publication/Research Record

Cabinet of Curiosities catalogue, 1982, p. 24 with illustration.

The Founders of Vancouver, 1886. Our City is their Monument (pamphlet).

"The Barkley Chair" by Beth Hill. Westworld Magazine, Nov/Dec 1977 [?]

Supporting Documentation Contents

Correspondence; Westworld article by Beth Hill; copy of programme from dinner at the Pavilion in Stanley Park, May 7, 1956 at which the chair was presented to the City of Vancouver.

Physical Description
Semicircular seat of woven cane; high, inclined back curved around and down to form arms; back has ornate set-in work of spindles and rings of cut bamboo; 4 legs with stretchers; no iron nails but wooden pegs and bands of bamboo.
Malacca Straits Settlements cane
Artifact Part Height (cm) Length (cm) Width (cm) Depth (cm) Diameter (cm) Thickness (cm) Weight
89.00 58.50 54.00
City of Vancouver Archives
Denne, V.