14.1.10

Hello, My Name is Down East Dilettante, and I am a Chair Addict

Today I stand before you and admit it.  I have never met a chair that I didn't like.  Venetian grotto chair?  You betcha.  Fifties chrome kitchen chair?  Just look at that tubular design.  Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair?  Of course.  Look over there!  Is that a Georgian back stook in original needlepoint?  A yellow painted windsor with original stenciling?  I'm weak at the knees.  Oh my gosh, look!  A pair of Breuer chairs!  A 50's Louis-Louis bergere in green satin!  I'm going to overdose!  You get the idea.

Friend Anne pays a visit and graces a green satin Louis-Louis chair from the 50's

Of all furniture forms, none can take on as many creative solutions as the chair, sculpture that one can sit on, and often the touch that makes the room.

The first chair I ever bought, at the age of 11, came from a local junque shop for $3.00.  A little worse for wear then and still, it dates from around 1820, is an American take on the classic Greek klismos chair.  The paint, worn though it is, is wonderful, and for the 45 years since, I've chosen to keep the tattered blue denim underupsholstery just as it was when I found it.  Originally, the chair would have had a rush seat.  I've since owned a set of RED ones in this design.

Chairs and mirrors, mirrors and chairs.  Sometimes friends joke that my shop should be renamed Chairs 'n' Things, or Lots O' Chairs.  Or are they joking?  On a trip back from Brimfield, there they sit, piled in the back of the van in disorderly array, their skewed legs and arms allowing no room for more practical, squarer objects, like a nice chest of drawers that someone might actually buy.  Plus, chairs look so good under mirrors, reflected in mirrors......

Hello, my name is Down East Dilettante, and I'm a mirror addict.

But that's another post.  Here are a few of the chairs that have passed through my life:

 

A white painted Windsor Rocker from the 1820's.  sinuous, with the most luscious pears painted on the center tablet.  Who knows why I didn't photograph it head on?  I was young...
 

You just have to use your imagination for this one.  I was new to digital photography, and they were sold before I even figured out how to download the camera and try again.  They're French, early 19th century tin and steel, with tin basket weave seats, and crossed arrows in the back splats, with cast feathers and points...and love the hollow back splat.  All in a pale crusty gray paint.  Late at night, I still think of these.


These were the first thing I ever bought on eBay....four of them....back when it was new and great things were waiting to be discovered online for cheap
Still new to digital...didn't have the whole resolution concept firmly down...okay, so it isn't really a chair, but black and gold Vogue Regency settee with yellow satin?  Yum.  I kinda like the little lyre back French chair to the right, also.

This funny little one was as light as a feather, the first American bentwood furniture, made by one Samuel Gragg of Boston in the early 19th century

I still own this one, 25 years later.  A Sheraton 'Fancy' chair from upstate New York; what you can't see is the amazing freehand swirling decoration on the back splat, in black and yellow.

Nobody does chairs like the French.  The one on the right may look ordinary enough, but the color is the most ethereal blue gray, weathered by time.

I'm sure my friend Ellen thought I was photographing her delicious dill biscuits, but in truth, you see that Greek key fret on the back of that 50's klismos chair.....I'll get them away from her someday.....

8 comments:

La Petite Gallery said...

WHAT A COLD DAY. THE DILL BISCUTS SOUND WONDERFUL.
I STARTED REMEMBERING ABOUT MY lOUIE 16TH DINNING CHAIRS,AND
MY BEAUTIFIL FRENCH BEREGE
YELLOW VELVET CHAIR AND MY JEAN HARLOW YELLOW SOFA. I LOST THEM ALL IN A FIRE. BESIDES DECORATING I OWNED AN ANTIQUE SHOP. GREAT POST.STAY WARM, YVONNE

little augury said...

Oh! and here I am thinking it has always been a virtue. I too am addicted them and never do I want an intervention. I moved from a large to smaller home, had a shop, still have a design business- and off course never know when you will place one! that said, It is hard to let them go- honest-I count chairs instead of sheep.

Reggie Darling said...

Delicious posting DED, loved the shots of your shop, makes me want to come to Maine for a visit. I have the same American warrior girandole on my DR mantle, a particular favorite. Do post pickies of la shoppe more often, a marvelous window into your fevered mind. If chairs are an addiction, then such dependency is sublime...

Janet said...

From one who has far too many useless and uncomfortable chairs crammed into her tiny apartment, I share your addiction.

msdougas said...

What is it about chair addiction? Many of us seem to suffer from it. If you promise to organize a 12 step program this summer, I'll promise to drive up from Boston to attend.
Best- Michele

The Down East Dilettante said...

LOL, Michele, I may be in denial, but I don't think I can kick the habit... but do visit Maine. I always have a place to sit....

Mrs. Blandings said...

A fellow addict. It hurts so good. By the way, if I see those greek keyed klismos first? You're toast.

The Down East Dilettante said...

LOL, Mrs. Blandings! And you always seemed like such a nice lady!