Knole Settee

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The Knole settee (sometimes known as the Knole Sofa) was made in the 17th century. It is housed at Knole in Kent, a house owned by the Sackville-Wests since 1605 but now in the care of the National Trust. It was originally used not as comfortable sofa but as a formal throne on which the monarch would have sat to receive visitors. It features adjustable side arms and considerable depth of seating, it usually has exposed wooden finials at the rear corner tops, and some exposed wood may be present on the otherwise arms. The arms, more correctly sides, are of the same height. The side arms are tied to the sofa back by means of heavy decorative braid, often with an elaborate tassel.

In literature[edit]

A number of references to the Knole sofa are found in literature; for example, Marlowe notes the usage in his book Memoirs of a Venus Lackey.[1] In literature the Knole sofa is sometimes mentioned in the context of a room decorated with fine antique furniture such as in the novel In High Places,[2] in which the Knole sofa is positioned in a room with a fine Kerman antique carpet.

The spelling of Knole sofa is as shown in this sentence and not Knoll, as the name comes from Knole House, Sevenoaks, Kent UK, which is open to the public and run by the National Trust.[3] On show is the original Knole Sofa.


  1. ^ Memoirs of a Venus Lackey By Derek Marlowe, Viking Press, 1968
  2. ^ In High Places, Arthur Hailey, Doubleday Publishing (1962)
  3. ^ "Knole". National Trust. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2010.