An Unusual Chair…

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This little chair, with three legs and an octagonal seat, was inspired by a 15th century Italian masterpiece, all carvings and inlay…

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Image from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

While mine is plainer by far, it provides an object lesson in “country” furniture.  Furniture that was made by less skilled village woodworkers imitating the styles and forms of the latest fashions from the city.  This kind of furniture is found all over the world from all periods.  Wherever there was a master craftsman making beautiful furniture, there was a common furniture maker imitating him to the best of his abilities.  Turnings that are not quite right, legs that are too thick, proportions that are slightly off, inferior materials used.  It was a common trick to make dining chairs in which all the effort and time was spent on the top rails and backs, and the seat and legs left very much plain and unadorned.  After all, when it was pushed up to a table the bottom half wouldn’t be seen anyway, right?

Well, even without the carving and inlay and gilding, I’m pretty pleased with this little chair.  It is made of pine, and stained with a homemade apple cider stain (more about which in another post), then oiled and finally polyurethaned.  And believe it or not, it can be sat on, although I see it living a life as a plant stand or decorative curiosity.

 Although it would make a great time-out chair in a corner…

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