Today’s chair makes an exciting change for me, as I spend most of my time among old chairs and antiques.
There is a little gallery in town that has tiny little chairs on display, all newly designed and exhibited on plinths. They’re not exactly doll’s house chairs, but almost. A sign informs me they are 1:5 scale.
Among them is this convex-concave veneered chair, which in terms of materials can trace its pedigree far, far back in the history of furniture design.
Close by on another plinth is a small chair with a beautiful wooden back. The decoration in the backrest consists of round drilled holes, a feature that is reminiscent of, for example, nineteenth-century children’s chairs. The chair stands on runners, although not the kind that are usually seen on rocking chairs. Here it’s not a matter of rocking back and forth, but from side to side. That would create a gentle rocking motion, from right to left on short runners. And the chair is equipped with armrests, too – just to be on the safe side.
The next thing I encounter on my journey through this miniature landscape is a pint-sized sofa.
I can imagine it as a garden bench – an interesting, sturdy seat with a backrest and legs inspired by nature. The model on the plinth has a backrest made of twigs, while the legs are formed from branches. In the real world you might choose to use materials that are more stable and more durable, but still with the kind of ‘twig-like’ look that captures the creator’s original vision. In the right setting, it would make a truly wonderful garden sofa.
The final chair whose acquaintance I make has a wooden frame with a woven seat and backrest in brown and black. The lines are classical, the proportions generous, the expression blonde Scandinavian.
It would be such fun to test all of the chairs for comfort (the ones I have mentioned are just a selection of those on show), but in this instance I’m a giant in a world of pygmies – merely a visitor passing through the Land of Lilliput.
A little tale about the Scandinavian author…
Gun Bjerkander Handberg, is based in Sweden and has devoted much of her life to art and antiques as a museum curator, lecturer, columnist and auctioneer. She has also penned two delightful books, the Please Be Seated series recounting tales of an eclectic selection of historic chairs. You can order online or from your local bookshop.
Please Be Seated – Historic Chairs & The Tales They Tell (ISBN:978-0-9927084-7-4)
Please Be Seated – More Historic Chairs & The Tales They Tell (ISBN:978-0-9927084-8-1)
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