Chairs may be ubiquitous everyday items but before they became commonplace in our homes and offices, they were the exclusive pieces of conquerors and kings; the heavily ornate spoils of war and the one-of-a-kind furnishings of bards, prophets and history’s superstars.
Here we offer a few fascinating facts about chairs.
Beware the Dead Man’s Chair
Source: This is Sickening
In 1702, a fellow called Busby throttled his father-in-law for sitting in his favourite chair at the local drinking hole. On his way to the gallows, he apparently popped in to the pub to put a curse on the chair.
According to reports, all who dared to sit on the Dead Man’s Chair died a premature and nasty death. Today, the very same chair is suspended from the rafters in a Yorkshire Museum to prevent the 316-year-old curse from claiming yet another victim.
The earliest chairs were designed to dazzle
The ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Romans and Greeks handcrafted chairs from priceless raw materials – gold, argent, ebony and ivory – and embellished them with precious gemstones and coloured glass.
Seats were mounted on legs featuring the predatory claws of lions, the talons of eagles or the hooves of buffalos to represent the royal dynasties. One of most ornate and priceless chairs still in existence today is the awesome throne of the ’Boy King’ Tutankhamen.
Jefferson and the first-ever makeshift swivel chair
Thomas Jefferson is credited with creating the first-ever swivel chair. He apparently modified an ordinary Windsor chair by adding top and bottom components that were connected to a central iron spindle.
This allowed the seat to swivel independently on steel castors, enabling the Founding Father of America to move freely around in his chair. Jefferson apparently drafted the US Declaration of Independence while seated in his smart and flexible innovation.
Would you pay $28.3 million for a chair?
The most expensive chair ever sold at auction went under the hammer for $28.3 million in 2009. It isn’t a gilt throne or even a particularly old chair, it’s a gorgeous 20th century Art Deco piece designed by the renowned pioneer of modernist architecture, Eileen Gray.
Dubbed the Dragon’s Armchair, the high value piece was once owned by Yves St Laurent and features sumptuous chocolate brown leather upholstery and a lacquered wooden structure that’s shaped like two dragons.
Source: Apartment Therapy
Over the years, there have been a few unique, utilitarian and practical chair designs. There’s the Bachelor’s Chair, popularised in the 18th Century because of its ability to convert into a step stool, ladder or ironing board – tools that every good bachelor needs to get through the day!
Then there’s the Conversation Chair that was simply a back-to-front model designed with the English dandy in mind. Instead of sitting in the usual way, these refined and exceedingly vain men would seat themselves facing the ‘back’ of the chair so that their long, heavy and elaborately designed coattails could hang undisturbed from the ‘front’!
Modern chair designs with a twist
Modern designers continue to outdo themselves with fun chair designs, ranging from comfortable and clever to exotic, bizarre and – in the case of the Harkonnen Capo Chair designed for the movie, Dune, even skull-encrusted.
Source: Prop Store
Source: Red Cedar Homes
What we offer at K-Mark
At K-Mark, but we don’t create quirky, highly unusual or movie-worthy chairs. Instead our focus is on manufacturing superior quality, ergonomic office chairs that you can count on to provide excellent comfort and support, day after day. Contact us for more information or to discuss your office chair needs.