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Chairs: A History Hardcover – October 1, 2006
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About the Author
Decorator and furniture historian Florence de Dampierre is the author of several books, including The Best Painted Furniture, as well as numerous articles on period furniture. She lives in Litchfield, CT.
Top Customer Reviews
Witty and anecdotal, “Chairs: A History” by Florence de Dampierre takes the reader through the history of the chair in a painless and highly entertaining fashion. Early Egyptian chairs- and I do mean early- look quite modern despite being nearly four thousand years old. And who knew that there was a thousand-year gap in innovative chair design between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance? “Either stools or thrones,” explains de Dampierre, “there was little inbetween.”
Chairs are more than convenient resting-places, they come with many associations. De Dampierre explains the hierachy of sitting down as an issue fraught with social complications. For example, in seventeenth century France, Louis XIV forbad anyone to sit in his presence without his permission, unless they were his children or grandchildren, and even then only on stools. The right to certain types of seating became so important that during a memorial mass for the same king in 1717, the attending bishops stormed out of the cathedral of Saint-Denis when they were refused kneeling cushions or carreaux.
De Dampierre takes each important design period in the history of the chair and discusses it in depth. For example, she traces the evolution of the Gothic chair from Strawberry Hill in England in the eighteenth century, to France, Germany, then eventually to America where walnut versions were made for the White House in 1846.
Grotto chairs were also the rage in the eighteenth century, the first recorded designer was Thomas Chippendale in England.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a card-carrying chair freak. The wild, weird, and wonderful world of chairs was the subject of my college thesis. Read morePublished 18 months ago by HouseAndHomeGoddess
Love it!! Very thorough background on chairs. Will be helpful to my study for our new museum exhibit.. Book good as new.Published on July 20, 2013 by Diane Green
Lets face it some us are simply in love with furniture and for a great deal of us the true great love is chairs. I also love history and this book gives you both. Read morePublished on July 31, 2009 by Roxie L. Gamble