A porter's chair was a type of chair used in
and later France.
Usually formed in a high-grade leather or red velvet.
It was placed by the front door of an estate or home
for use by a gatekeeper servant who was in charge of screening guests and
visitors. This was necessary since the door
knocker might not be heard throughout the house.
Since there were often cold breezes near a front door, the chair was
designed to envelop and keep the servant relatively warm in his task of
remaining at the door for long periods. It is best described as a hollowed-out egg shape, very high
and enclosed back, standing on end, four legs, with handrests and usually with
a notch for a lantern
at the side, allowing the person to sink back into it out of the wind and await
visitors' knocks. (Notable current survivors exist at the London Branch of
the Bank of England,).
Some of these chairs were equipped with drawers underneath – where supplies or
even hot coals could be kept