Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary ................... Illustrated Architecture Dictionary

Chairs - STYLES & DESIGNERS
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Chairs - CONSTRUCTION

History of Armchairs and Side Chairs

[In Egypt] During important religious rituals or official coronations, armchairs would be used instead of side chairs. Considered the highest seat of honor, the armchair was reserved for the pharaoh and was richly decorated.

An established hierarchy developed with the evolution of various seating units. Social prominence determined what piece of furniture the Egyptian sat upon. A stool was better than sitting on the floor, but a side chair had a back on it and was much more comfortable. The highest ranking Egyptian would sit in an armchair since this type of chair had the comfort of both back and arm supports.


Moreover, the political hierarchy of seat furniture continued into the Greek and Roman periods with authoritatively designed throne chairs.

The armchair was also a seat of prominence during the Medieval period. When receiving visitors to the manor, the lord sat in a massive armchair with the lady of the manor seated in a side chair. During banquets, the lord and lady sat side by side while their guests sat on benches, or stools, some of which were brought by the guests themselves.

This hierarchy continues today in the formal dining room. Armchairs are placed at each end of the table for the host and hostess, while guests sit in side chairs.

- Treena Crochet, Designer's Guide to Furniture Styles," pub. 2204, pp. 13-15

Chairs

Armchair

Illustration: Sheraton armchair

Chairs

Art Deco style

Illustration:
Old Editions Book Shop and Café
  Art Nouveau style

Chairs

Arts & Crafts style / Mission

Illustration:
Hubbard/Roycroft Museum

Chairs

Bannister-back chair

A late 17th-century English or American chair with split turned stiles or flat bars for the uprights of the chair back.

A more elegant and polished variation of this type of chair back was popular in the Hepplewhite period, Hepplewhite's term to describe the carved and shaped upright bars that are curved to fit the shield of an open shield-back chair or sofa is bar back.

Chairs
Barcelona chair

Chairs

Barrel chair

A design by frank Lloyd Wright for the Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo

Chairs

Bergere (shepherdess) chair

Illustration: Hofmobileliendepot Imperial Furniture Collection,Vienna, Austria

Chairs

Boston rocker



Illustration:
Fillmore House Museum

Chairs

Cane chair

Illustration: William and Mary caned-back chair - George Wythe House, Williamsburg, Va.

Chairs

Captain's chair (Windsor chair)

Illustration: Independence Hall, Philadelphia

Chairs

Chair-table

Illustration:: Fairmount Park Woodford House, Philadelphia

Chairs

Chippendale style


Illustration:
Side chair - Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Williamsburg, Va

Chairs

Cockfighting chair

Also called "straddle chair."

Illustration: ScheideMantel House / Roycroft Museum

Chairs

Colonial Revival style

Illustration: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site

Chairs

Corner chair / Roundabout chair

Chairs

Eastlake style

Illustration:
Sofa and chair (private collection)

Chairs

Empire style

Illustration: Livingston- Backus House, Genesee Country Village, & Museum

Chairs

Fancy chair (painted Fancy chair or Sheraton painted Fancy chair)

A Sheraton-designed small-scaled, elegant side chair

Illustration: Private collection, Buffalo, NY
  Fauteuil

A French upholstered armchair with open sides

Chairs

Federal style

Illustration:
Livingston- Backus House at the Genesee Country Village, & Museum

Chairs

Fiddleback

A Queen Anne style, American colonial chair. The back splat is shaped like a violin, fiddle or a vase and the seat is usually made of of rush. The chair may have cabriole or saber legs. A similar chair appears in Louis XV-period furniture.

Illustration: American Antique Furniture, Orchard Park, NY

Chairs

Gothic Revival style

Illustration: Henry Mooney House

Chairs

Hepplewhite style

Illustration: Vase-back chair - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chairs

Hitchcock chair

Illustration: Fillmore House Museum

Chairs

International style


Illustration: Barcelona chair, by Mies van der Rohe

Chairs

Klismos


Illustration: Baltimore Museum of Art

Chairs

Ladder-back



Illustration: William and Mary armchair - Independence Hall, Philadelphia

Chairs

Lincoln rocker

Upholstered Grecian style rocker, with curved backs and scrolled arms

Prototype is the rocker (photo at left) in which Lincoln sat at Ford's Theatre the night of his assassination (National Park Service site)

Chairs

Mission - See Arts & Crafts

Illustration: ScheideMantel House / Roycroft Museum

Modern

Chairs

Morris style
Based on the Arts & Crafts designs of William Morris

Illustration: ScheideMantel House / Roycroft Museum

Chairs

Pilgrim Revival style

1630-1690



Illustration: Chair, Seymour H. Knox House / Blessed Sacrament RC Church Parish Office

Chairs

Platform rocking chair

Illustration: Hoover House, Amherst Museum

Chairs

Press-back side chair (Colonial Revival)

Illustration: Hoover House, Amherst Museum

Chairs

Queen Anne style


Illustration: C. 1730 English side chair

Chairs

Renaissance Revival style

Illustration: Hoover House, Amherst Museum

Chairs

Rocking chair

Illustration: Mission style, Stickley-made - Private collection, Western NY

Chairs

Rococo Revival style
1840-1870


Illustration: John Henry Belter Room on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2004

Chairs

Rohlfs, Charles

Illustration: Charles Rohlfs House

Chairs

Roundabout chair
See
corner chair above

Chairs

Roycroft style

Illustration: ScheideMantel House / Roycroft Museum

Chairs

Savonarola chair / X-chair / Scissors chair / Dante chair / Luther chair
Pron: sav on a ROLL a

A type of folding chair with a frame like an X viewed from the front or the side


Originated in medieval Italy and spread through Renaissance Europe.

The woodwork was nearly always completely covered with silk or velvet, and the seat was made up of loose cushions

Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498) was an Italian Dominican priest and leader of Florence from 1494 until his execution in 1498.

Illustration:
Seat of the Mother Superior, Buffalo Religious Art Center

Memorial Art Gallery of the U. of Rochester

Chairs

Shaker style

Chairs

Sheraton, Thomas

See also above: Fancy chair

Chairs

Side chair

A term used to distinguish the armless chair from the armchair. The side or armless chairs were evolved in the 17tb century when they replaced the stools and benches which were provided for persons other than nobility or the beads offamilies.

Illustration: American Antique Furniture, Orchard Park, NY

Side chair with rush seat - American Antique Furniture, Orchard Park, NY

Chairs

Slat-back

Stickley, Gustav style

Chairs

Straddle chair
See Cockfighting chair

Illustration: ScheideMantel House / Roycroft Museum
  Tete-a-tete

S-shaped settee with 2 catercornered seats

Also called a converational sofa

Chairs

Victorian style

Illustration: Ansley Wilcox House / Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site

Chairs

Wainscot chair


Illustration: Saturn Club

Chairs

William & Mary style

Illustration: Ansley Wilcox Mansion / Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site .

Chairs

Windsor chair
1730-1830rs were usually painted solid green, red, black, yellow, or white; such paint also protected the wood.

Illustration: Windsor "birdcage" side chair in Saturn Club

Chairs

Wing chair

AKA easy chair, forty-wink chair, saddle-back chair, grandfather chair

Chairs

Wright, Frank Lloyd

See also:


Photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa

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