Monday, September 07, 2015

A man who knew how to make chairs

Not a thing of beauty because it is merely an old rocker, but for me this sturdy little chair is appealing in much the same kind of way. Possibly late Georgian it is made of fruitwood – apple or pear probably. The rush seat is not original of course but authentic enough. On close inspection it is just possible to see the faintest hints of adze marks on the top rail.

Never designed for anywhere but the stone flags of a cottage, it is comfortable enough even without cushions. The maker added a curve in the back to give some lumbar support although one couldn’t sit for hours on it gaping at the TV. 

It has a subdued shine but most of that is down to the patina of age and my pot of beeswax. No servant was ever tasked with polishing it once a week on pain of a scolding. Maybe it was a woman’s chair, those low arms designed to allow elbow room for sewing, knitting or feeding the latest baby.

Or perhaps father sat there after work in his muck and pit boots while the tin bath in front of the fire was filled with hot water. Supping his pint mug of tea, pulling at his clay pipe, spitting black phlegm into the grate.

It wasn’t made efficiently as we so bleakly understand efficiency, but by a man who knew how to make chairs. 


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Sackerson said...

Are you an old rocker?

A K Haart said...

Sackers - not as old as this one.

Paddington said...

At least when you make a chair, you know what you did that day. Some days, I wonder.

Sackerson said...

P: often felt that. We're in the art of nailing jellies to ceilings.

A K Haart said...

Paddington and Sackers - many must feel that way. If ours is a world which values efficiency then efficiency and fatuity must be related.

Paddington said...

For that, duct tape is definitely preferred.