The Ancient History of Chairs

The Ancient History of Chairs

Chairs are the most common form of furniture that can be found anywhere as long as there are people. A chair has four legs for it to support the person sitting on it and most are intended for one person. Classic or modern types of chairs will forever be useful as they in one’s home, establishment, or any place.

As far as history is concerned, Egyptian chairs are the most ancient chairs in the third dynasty of ancient Egypt. The legs are shaped like those of animals. The seats were corded in the wood and topped with a cushion. One of the most elegant chair designs is the Empire chair in the form of a Greek klismos. The seat was supported by sharply curved legs pointing to the feet.

The 14th and 15th centuries in Western Europe gave rise to the Renaissance chairs. These have two principal varieties. The light chair which can easily be moved and the heavy chair which is usually a throne-like seat that is used by the head of the household or somebody important like a high ranking person. During England in the 16th century, chairs began to depend mostly on upholstery for decoration which introduced this new feature of the chair.

In the 17th century large numbers of richly carved chairs were produced. In Italy, many pieces of furniture were the work of sculptors like the famous Andrea Brustolon which featured the carving Negro boys with heads as an arm and legs carved as tree trunks and branches. While in France, it paved the way to more luxurious padding and carved arms ending in scrolls or animal heads. These luxurious chairs were imported to England but had to be modified for English tastes.

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Thus a finely carved front stretcher became fashionable. American furniture on the other hand adapted simplified versions of English styles from the late 17th century. Windsor chairs were particularly popular in the 18th century and were developed to a greater degree in America than in England. But England and France continued to dominate chair fashions throughout the 19th century but these styles were largely adaptations of those previous eras. Until now, these chairs have continuously developed and been modified to suit a person’s preferred design.

The great evolution of chairs has been helpful for creating new designs, styles and sizes. Materials have also been modified to build new types of chairs. A plastic chair can be an example of this. But the elegance of the chair will always remain.