Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Chair as Sculpture

I was flipping through an old edition of The Style Sourcebook by Judith Miller when I spotted the gilt-decorated chinoiserie chair above. It's not a chair to curl up in. More like art -- an excuse to show off a pretty piece of exotic lacquer. But I can imagine Michael Smith using one of these in a bathroom, stacking thick white towels on the seat. The rigid nature of the piece reminds me of Baker's Tulip Chair from the Historic Charleston collection.

Baker's chair is inspired by an early 19th century painted style seen in the Aiken-Rhett House. Useful and graphic in entries, these chairs are also great for holding books. Sara Ruffin Costello used a similar one as a desk chair in the bedroom below.

Domino, November 2005, photo by Paul Costello

The chair seems to appear again, in the background under the window, in another Costello bedroom.

Above, Costello bedroom photographed by Bruce Buck for The New York Times


Mrs. Blandings said...

Courtney - I have had a crush on that chair for forever. The chinoiserie one is fabulous - and I love your Smith conjecture - that seems just right.

Style Court said...

Patricia -- I thought of you and your passion for chairs when I put this together :)

Paul Pincus said...

that chair is ridiculously gorgeous ; )

ps i really enjoyed your piece on Bill Johnson.

Style Court said...

thanks paul!

dee said...

I've always loved those kinds of chairs and never knew what they were called. Thanks for the enlightenment!

Oh, and the images below...especially the fruit bowl...are fantastic!

Style Court said...

thanks for stopping by lil bee :)

cotedetexas said...

the chair reminds me of antique english "hall chairs." for some reason blogger won't let me comment on today's fabric post - so I'll put it here:

courtney - picking fabrics for children and pets and even adults is the hardest job an id can do. You want the upholstery to last and look good, but so few fabrics hold up to frequent use. Even a pair of pants carries dirt from the city air. It's such a dilemma. That's why I always want to go with waahable slipcovers.

Such pretty pictures in this post. Smith is wonderful.

Style Court said...

hey joni -- thanks for trying to comment. i'm having technical probs!