Thai House Chair

Vegetarian tofu and jasmine tea in a restaurant that simply oozes with charm in Frankfurt, Germany – the perfect antidote to a sombre, late autumn afternoon.

The legend “Thai House” is spelled out in rather florid lettering on the crest rail of the chairs. And what chairs they are, too! Quite special and – if you ask me – chairs that look like they have a mind of their own. And so many of them. Almost more than you can count in this particular eatery.

Their neo-Rococo inspired design with those curved front legs plays an important role in the charm that this restaurant so liberally exudes.

Floral ornamentation was a common feature on the crest rails of eighteenth-century Rococo chairs. Their nineteenth-century Rococo Revival cousins were not slow in following suit, often making the effect even more striking by boasting even bigger floral embellishments.

This decorative flourish and the letters that spell Thai House are almost like a kind of symbol or owner’s mark that gives the chairs their own special place in history.

Decoration in the form of relief letters is unusual. For a successful result the process requires what’s known in the trade as an overhand routing machine – plus, it must be said, more than a modicum of experience. And if these chairs have been made in Thailand using palm wood, that hardly makes the process any easier. Wood from palm trees is harder than oak, and that says a lot.

Some sources claim there are millions of cubic metres of dry, senile palm trees just waiting to be turned into furniture, beautiful flooring and decorative odds and ends. Old or dead palm trees can cause all sorts of terrible accidents if their roots lose hold and they come crashing down. I seem to have strayed into the world of palm trees without really knowing anything at all about the wood used for these particular chairs. But maybe I can be forgiven, as I’m writing this little text in January, a month that this year has been all but washed away in the unrelenting rain.

A gently swaying palm and a cup of jasmine tea – albeit both nothing more than figments of imagination – are all it takes to pep up even the most rain-weary of souls.

By Gun Bjerkander Handberg

Note from the Editor:

We are delighted to have now launched Gun Bjerkander Handberg’s latest publication HISTORIC CHAIRS – A BLOG ANTHOLOGY / STOLAR MED HISTORIA – EN BLOGGANTOLOGI internationally.

This is the fourth book on historic chairs by the author, but this one is a little special as it has the original Swedish text alongside the English translation and is a selection of more than 30 of our favourite blog posts.

So, if you have enjoyed following our blog over the years or know of someone who would also enjoy these chair tales, you can order a copy from anywhere in the world online today. If you are located in Scandinavia you might want to use this link.

ISBN: 9781739122607 Published by Vind & Våg Publishing House