10 Downing Street Guard Chairs
The 10 Downing Street Guard Chairs are two antique chairs. During the early years of the 19th century, 10 Downing Street was guarded by two men who sat outside of the building in leather chairs that were made by Thomas Chippendale. There was a drawer underneath the chair which was filled with hot coals in order to keep the guards warm whilst on duty. The chairs were made with a circular back and hood to both shield the guards from bad weather and to improve the surrounding acoustics, thereby allowing the guard to hear better from a wider angle.
The chairs still exist to this day. One of them (also known as the Hall Porter's Chair) sits in the entrance to No. 10 Downing Street, the other is owned by a private collector of furniture. In the picture to the right, fraying to the inner arm rests is evident. This is the result of the guards' pistols repeatedly rubbing against the fabric during their watch.