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Monday, December 5, 2016

A Historical Tidbit About Chairs & Stools

A chair and a stool are two different distinct types of furniture. The stool came first. One of the earlier forms of seat furniture. A stool consists of a single seat, without back or armrests, on a base of either three or four legs. A chair is any piece of furniture with a raised surface that can be used to individually sit on. A chair without a backrest and armrest is considered a stool.

In the early times, stools were quite general and chairs were rare. Chairs were reserved for the gilded classes. Kings, noblemen, and statesmen used them to conduct their business or hold court. While your average pleb was relegated to sitting on stools, chests, or even the ground. Also, chairs in early times, were always ornate and exquisite, made from expensive material like ivory, bronze and acacia wood. Decorated with beautiful carvings and designs, they were handcrafted works of art.

In the 17th century, except in high society, there was often only one chair, that for head of the household. As the 18th century wore on, this condition was reversed. The progress of the position of women can almost be measured by this change. The Queen Anne, featured below, is quite rare partly for this reason. Foot stools of an ordinary character have always, of course, been in use.


Queen Anne Stool

To leave you with a dubious fact, according to the Furniture Treasury, most chairs have over time been cut down or destroyed because every third generation a short person occurs.

children's chairs

1 comment:

Missy said...

I didn't know that! I guess it makes sense when you think about how most farm tables had benches but the man of the house had a chair on one end.

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