Sylvia Plath's Painted Chair at Auction

Wooley & Wallis auctioned, today, in Lot 605, a chair painted by Sylvia Plath when she was living at Court Green, Devon, England. It appeared originally at the big Bonhams sale back in 2018 but failed to sell.  My thanks to Peter Fydler who tweeted about this auction on 9 April.

The description reads as follows:

A child's nursery elbow chair painted by Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)

Estimate: £200 - £400 + Buyers Premium

A child's nursery elbow chair painted by Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)

With coloured flower and heart pattern over a white ground

47 x 28 x 29cm

Together with 3 balls of the red wool used for the original woven seat, and a letter from Frieda Hughes confirming the provenance


Painted by Sylvia Plath for her children Frieda (b.1960), and Nicholas (b.1962);

Loaned by Ted Hughes (1930-1998) to a family friend

Property of Frieda Hughes

The chair SOLD for £3,500 ($4,936.56) including buyers premium. 

Sylvia Plath painted a number of pieces of furniture. Most them are now held by Smith College. 

Her inspiration for the painting came from an issue of Woman's Day magazine. Read more about it!

All links accessed 8 and 11 May 2020.


  1. Do you know what the large table in the last picture was used for? Given the height of it compared to the painted chair, I'm guessing a sideboard of some kind?

  2. Hi Anonymous: Smith College has cataloged it as a "Trestle table". ~pks


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