my bentwood chair
Vintage pieces and antiques have an authenticity and history. They wear the patina of a previous life. When mixed with new or more contemporary pieces they add a soft and inviting touch. They add a little soul. I wonder about the stories that they could tell.
This is my favourite old bentwood chair. The chair that started a bit of a chair fetish, and a general love of eclectic interiors.
I bought this chair while I was still at high school. Back in the dark ages. I remember it cost me the princely sum of $8.00, a detail remembered because at the time it was almost my entire weeks wages earned as an office cleaner after school. I used it at the desk in my bedroom. A little bit rickety, a few creaks as I sat on it doing my homework. But lovely all the same, and not bad considering how old it possibly was.
The Thonet bentwood chair was first created in 1859. The No. 14 chair became the first mass-produced chair in the world. The original flat-pack. Since then it has been in continuous production with over 50 million chairs produced to date. These iconic chairs have been featured in everything from Renoir paintings to Madonna videos.
My chair has traveled with me almost everywhere, ever since then, and though I have added to my chair collection extensively, this one is still a sentimental favourite. Currently it sits quietly here in the kitchen, decorated with some pom poms made by Eva, and a little Rachel Castle penny round cushion. I’m nervous whenever it gets called in to actual chair duty. If it felt rickety back in my homework and study days, now it is distinctly fragile. Still looks beautiful though. And is the perfect foil for the more industrial locker it sits alongside.