Sunday, May 15, 2011

Diminutive Chairs (God Bless the Children)

 The chair is of extreme antiquity,although for many centuries and indeed for thousands of years it was an article of State , rather than an article of ordinary use. The chair is still extensively used as an emblem of authority in Britian. It was not, in fact,until the 16th century that it became common anywhere. The number of chairs from earlier dates is exceedingly limited. Mostly in museums.
   In ancient Egypt chairs appear to have been great richness and splendour. Fashioned of ebony and ivory or of carved gilded wood, they were covered in costly, rare materials and supported upon legs of beast or figures.
   Greek and Roman chairs dates back to the 6th and 7th century BCE. Exambles can be found carved on the frieze of the Parthenon.These chairs were mostly carved from marble. The oldest know is the chair of St.Peter in the St.Peters church in Rome.

 Chinese chairs before the Tang Dynasty(618-907 AD) were not in existance. The predominant setting position was the lotus position on the floor. A remarkable change happened during the Tang period. A small mobile  folding stool developed into a more stationary stately chair with a high back.After that the chair was common in all of China.High back chairs are still in high use in China today.
   In Europe, it was owing in great measure to the Renaissance that the chair ceased to be a privilege  of the State and became available to anyone who could afford to buy a chair or had the skill to make one.  By the 17th century wood chairs in Britian were common. Fabric and leather soon were used to cover and make the chairs more comfortable.
  English chairs came into there own during the Tudor period.  During Charles II's reign they became the most decorative. During the reign of  William and Mary, the chair form became more solid and rigid.Makers like, Hepplewhite,Sheraton,Adams and Chippendale all left there  ever lasting mark on English chair design.
    18th century chairs are when the French took over. The French Rocco   style soon became the rage, with caberiole legs, carved backs and open arms. The bergere chair was also born in Louis XIV France.
   19th century chairs are when the Art Nouveau school produced chairs of simplicity with a movement like no other style before or since. Arts and Crafts  movement produced heavy,straight ,minimally ornamental chairs.
   American chairs: Rocco Revival,  Gothic and Empire  Revival and Eastlake, are  the names that come to mind. Makers like John Henry Belter brought these forms to all all time height and for the first time an American chair maker was considered as important as one from Europe. The Rocco chair was the American version of the French Louis XVI. Bigger in scale and heavier- but very much the same lines.
   Every maker and ever period since the Roman Empire have made Diminutive or children's chairs. One early example was  found in the Sun King's tomb in Egypt. Also known as the child King as he took the throne at the age of 9. The French especially, were  known for it's children's chairs. Some times whole sets were made and thrones were copied for the Heir apparent. Louis XVI was one who did this and the exambles are on display today.

    Most of my children's chairs are more fun than rare and not extremely valuable. I have always been attracted to them and seem to want every one I see. I have them  all about the house-usually in the way, I often fall over them. I love them anyhow. I have 2 very good ones. One is a American Gothic Revival and the other is a high Victorian .Both are made in America of walnut and from the early to middle 1800's. My little  great nieces and nephews love to set in my small chairs. I often catch the adults in them as well. They are usually very strong and can hold up well. But the two special ones, I always say, no-no!
    I  am also sharing several pictures from the garden as spring continues in Missouri. It is one of my favorite times. After a long hard winter it is much appreciated.
   I hope you enjoy my little kids chairs and maybe someday you can come by for a tour and see them in person. I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a kiss.

My Sissy Dog, always with me and always a friend. 

I hate to sound like a broken record, but I can't seem to help myself. I am so proud of the fact that , My Old Historic House, is featured in this issue of Victorian Homes Magazine. Please go to the news stands and get a copy. If you like it, let the editor know.Editor-Hilary Black at

My Old Historic House during the great flood of 2008, Mississippi River, Clarksville,Mo. 


Richard Cottrell said...

I have heard from a source ,I can not say, that if the magazine people at Victorian Homes gets enough emails and letters about an article they sometimes run a second one. makes scense as they already have the pictures. I would appreciate you helping me out, especially if you like the article and think I deserve it. Richard

Marcia said...

Wow, a follow-up article in VH magazine would be terrific! Let's all let them know!

Loved the chair blog. Who would have thought that the device we take for granted every hour of the day was a luxury item at one time! You have a nice collection! Once again, thank you for sharing your expertise.

Sweet Old Vintage said...

Hi Richard... A lovely collection of chairs... You have lovely array of flowers around your home to enjoy...I have planted the ones I puchased but would love to have more color but am content to enjoy what I have... I am feeling so much better as I am completing my outdoor spaces and getting all cleaned up... I still have the trees messes to fall yet and then we can blow all the stems and spring dropping away. Living in Ohio is different that living in warmer states and we have more clean up at different stages of our 4 seasons... We had a rain shower this morning but the sun us shining as I type this comment... It did stop the farmers from entering the fields this morning.. Yesterday was the first day they were able to get in around our area... They are hurting just a bit but hopefully it will all happen... What would we do if we couldn't worry...I believe I will take a message from a wonderful od Doris Day song and just sing " what will be will be"... Remember that old goodie.. It says alot....

Unknown said...

Delightful chairs ... and the garden photos are simply lovely.
Thank you :)


lvroftiques said...

Richard Richard Richard...Yet another wonderful collection! Sometimes I think you could be my clone...except for the "man" thing LOL! Of COURSE I'm going to add fringe to that sofa! It was a silly question *winks* And if something stands still long enough I'll put a tassel on it too!
Did you mean Louis XIV on the bergere?....don't mean to be correcting the expert but I think the bergere was earlier than Louis XVI whose lines were more straight. *winks* And how I wish I knew ya back when you were selling settees like my dream piece!
Do you remember in the 70's when you couldn't give victorian furniture away?.....Hindsight 20/20....So what do you think will be the one not to miss out on today? Vanna

lvroftiques said...

Poop I forgot to mention your peonies look glorious! They're my favorite flower. And you're so lucky to have such beautiful flowers blooming. I still have nada in my state. How goes the river? I keep hearing things about major troubles with the Mississippi on the news. AND....sorry I'm being so long winded...your issue of Victorian Homes is my favorite issue of that magazine ever. V

Babs said...

Richard, your children's chairs are so precious. The only one I have was my mom's and I had my photo taken in it when I was a baby and now our grandson had his photo in it. Are you still being "at water's edge" with the Mississippi rising? The lower states on the Mississippi seem to be getting hit hard.
Thanks for another great post.

Curtains in My Tree said...

Richard you are an encyclopedia

I love the little chairs and I had a childrens rocker similar to what you have but sold it in a yard sale when I got rid of all my old oak furniture. every once in a while i think I am done and sale all my old furniture

I still have Grandma's round oak table (she got it for a wedding present in 1922 it was a used table she said )and a parlor table that was my Mom's

Love seeing all you flowers blooming it makes me happy i have a few iris blooming

Hi Sissy

Maison de lin said...


Thanks for the history of the chairs, i like your collection especially the chair of the second picture. Your are so lucky to have a pic of your home in a magazine, it's a dream of me. May be, one day how know's.

Greetings from Belgium

Linda said...

Fantastic feature for Friday!!!
Have a great weekend!!
Glad to have found you to follow!!

Bohemian said...

I shall be getting my copy Richard! I'm so excited for you, congrats on the lovely feature!

The little chairs are adorable and I can't help but notice your Victrola Dog, Staffordshire Fair Dog and of coarse Sissy Dog! *winks*

Thanks for encouraging me on my recent Post, I guess I idealize how everyone else lives and it is refreshing to know that everyone struggles with the same issues of housekeeping and yard work... it just isn't always evident in our Posts because naturally we want to showcase our strengths. *smiles* I feel better knowing that even some of my Blog Heros have abundant treasures to try to figure out where to house... cobwebs & dust among their loveliness!

Dawn... The Bohemian

Unknown said...

Great share on the history of these fabulous chairs. Love your florals!

Have a beautiful PINK weekend.

5 day GIVEAWAY, pop over

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Well, I respect chairs a lot more after seeing your photos and reading about them. Thanks for sharing.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Great! Your original post is back! Again - Thanks for the history lesson. Like I said before, you have some pretty examples of children's chairs. Your flowers are beautiful.
Enjoy your evening.


I love this post about CHAIRS, I just lovvvvveee chairs! Thank you for the little history on them, I really enjoyed it and learned, very interesting! I always loved childrens chairs too, I seem to like what you like, my friend. Thank you for the sweet comment on my mom and for your great visit. I love your Sissy and that beautiful garden, it must be great to eat al "fresco". I'm at Pink Saturday...come by.

Tallulah's Antique Closet said...

I like your collection of chairs! And your garden is looking very pretty with the peonies. Have fun in the garden and sissy dog is looking cute..............Julian

A Few Pennies said...

Lovely posting. Amazing chairs and history--sweet puppy with all those pretty flowers.

Olivia said...

Oh wow! I love chairs, very interesting! Pretty flowers. Happy Pink Saturday.

Marianne said...

I just found you at My Romantic Home and congratulations on being featured in Victorian Magazine. And I really enjoyed reading about your chairs. I can't wait to see more pictures of your home.
Marianne :)

Sissysmom said...

Wonderful chairs. Love the peonies, Irises and Lilly of the Valley! Spring flowers are one of the things I really miss living in the desert. Give Sissy Dog a pat on the head from me.

Nancy said...

Congratulations on your magazine article! What a great history and collection.

Happy Pink Saturday!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing all your sweet chairs with us! Have a lovely weekend!

HaPpY pInK sAtUrDaY!

xinex said...

Thanks for the very informative post about chairs, Richard. Your children's chairs are so cute. I love the rocking chair. Your blooms are very pretty too. I especially love the peonies. I hope yo don't get flooded...Christine

Tricia said...

Look at all your beautiful flowers! Congratulations on your magazine feature too. Thanks for linking your post to my party :)

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi Richard~ What a fantastic collection of chairs and congratulations on the feature!! How exciting! Thanks for sharing at FNF this week! :)

Curtains in My Tree said...

Oh my gosh that flood picture scares me thinking abut your house in danger !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

what about now ? Sunday May 15th how are things there Is the water that close again?


Thank you so much for coming by Richard and for the lovely comment on my urn gift! I came back and I juat saw you pic of your beautiful house with the water around it!!! I hope that isn't happening these days there! My goodsness, look what's going on in the Mississippi!!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend my friend, take good care!

Brigitte said...

Hi Richard,
Another wonderful and informative post.I don't know what I love MOST ? ....chairs,flowers or sissy dog? ...easy answer ALL of them since I am a avid gardener,have several antique children's chairs and who couldn't love a dog like that...always faithful.
Stay safe,

Tea in Texas said...

Love the childrens chair collection. I have just a few. I know you are enjoying yours when you see the neices and nephews sitting in them. I hope the rain is not causing more worries of flooding. Take care and give Sissy a treat.!

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Dear Richard...another excellent post. Where do you come up with this stuff? My favorite picture hands-down is of your lilies of the valley. Mine are up and just starting to bloom. I just love them. Your little doggie is adorable. I think it's so fun when dogs somehow manage to get in a picture! Have a good week...~Ann

Judie said...

Richard, let me first say that I can smell those peonies! I live in the desert and they won't grow here. They are one of my favorite flowers!!

Your article on children's chairs is most interesting. When we first moved here, we bought two reproduction Ming chairs for our living room. The style is timeless, but the lack of humidity really takes its toll on wood. The rungs come out frequently and we have to glue them back in with wood glue!

You were so lucky that your beautiful house did not flood! We lived in Memphis for 17 years and never saw the river as high as it has been this year. I hope you fared well this time!

Anonymous said...

Your collection of chairs is wonderful, Richard. I have a few old childrens chairs and cherish them.

I loved seeing the photos of your flowers. Beautiful!

I don't remember if I have seen the arial view of your home during the '08 flood. Amazing!

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Richard, Congrats on the article. I'm looking forward to finding it. Sissy dog is just the sweetest to greet us amongst your beautiful flowers. I loved the article on the children's chairs, the dog statue is screaming my name. Oh my gosh I fell in love with that. The arial view of your home is amazing. hugs ~lynne~

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Richard-

What a nice collection of little chairs! I love chairs, too, but mostly full size ones. And thanks for the history lesson. I didn't know chairs were so uncommon in the past in many areas of the world. I can't imagine sitting on the floor anymore at my age!

The feature article in Victorian Homes was fantastic! I was so excited when my copy came in the mail... it's the first thing I read! I think they did an excellent job, don't you? There were quite a few pictorial pages with great photography of your home. I just wish they devoted the whole magazine to your house LOL! You certainly have enough to fill more than an entire magazine!!

Love your garden flowers, too. Oh, your peonies are so pretty... another fragrance I just love!

Thanks Richard.


Beverly said...

Happy Pink Saturday, Richard. I am so glad you joined us, and I hope you will continue. I've already visited you several times since Saturday, but each time I start reading about your wonderful home, and I forget to leave a comment.♥

the fishermans cottage said...

What an amazing home and garden you have and congratulations on the article. Laundry day just couln't be a chore in your house :) x

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I came looking for a misspelled word! Well, now on to the next blog! Sheesh, Richard!!!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Sorry about my above comment...I just had my feeling hurt and felt sort of chastised...and probably rightly so.
Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog concerning my daughter. She has a long road ahead of her..but has lots of support. I could lose her and I know this..but we are positive and hopeful.
Again, thank you..

Anonymous said...

Kindred spirits! I'm a chair nut, too. I especially love children's chairs. I have to smack my hand to keep from buying more. Your comment about falling over them made me laugh because where do we put the things? They are hard to display, yet I can't give them up. My favorite walnut/cane child's chair is used to block access to keep my Scotties from crawling under the table and dragging off my best Victorian lamp.

Sissy is a good girl for leaving your lovely flowers alone. My Scotties decimated the iris bed this week, going after a mouse. At least, that's their excuse.

The 2008 photo of the river around your terrific house is scary. When I saw your feature in VICTORIAN HOMES, I was worried that the Mississippi might flood you out. So glad it didn't!

Take care,