Home PageFarm Table BlogHistory of the Chair

History of the chair

The chair is of extreme antiquity, although for many centuries and indeed for thousands of years it was an article of state and dignity rather than an article of ordinary use. “The chair” is still extensively used as the emblem of authority in the British House of Commons and in public meetings. It was not, in fact, until the 16th century that it became common anywhere. The chest, the bench and the stool were until then the ordinary seats of everyday life, and the number of chairs which have survived from an earlier date is exceedingly limited; most of such examples are of ecclesiastical or seigniorial origin. Our knowledge of the chairs of remote antiquity is derived almost entirely from monuments, sculpture and paintings. A few actual examples exist in the British Museum, in the Egyptian museum at Cairo, and elsewhere.

19th century chairs

American Armchair (1850-1863) made of Rosewood, rosewood veneer, pine, and chestnut. Attributed to John Henry Belter. Part of the

The art nouveau school produced chairs of simplicity. The Arts and Crafts movement produced heavy, straight lined, minimally ornamented chairs. The most famous being the Michael Thonet Bendwood chair or the ‘bistro chair’ created in 1859 which has revolutionized the industry and is still being produced today.