Monday, 12 March 2012

Day 305-Journey of The X-Chairs

The X-Chair, so called for its crossed legs, started its humble life as a folding stool. In fact, the X-chair is THE original folding stool.

Copy of the wall painting from the tomb of Huy, an Egyptian official who lived during the reign of king Tutankhamun (1336-1327 BC). Thebes

Cleopatra chair Ebay Seller louisxv2006

It was believed that the chairs originated from Egypt. Th Egyptians constructed their chair to be simple and portable. Made with a slung leather seat on a pair of wooden frames, these chairs were constructed to fold for easy packing and travelling from battlefield to battlefield with a commanding army officer (see the chair at the top of the wall painting).

aegean / greek, simle folding stool, ca. 2000 B.C

The popularity of these chairs soon spread as far and wide as ancient Greece where the stool was called "diphros okladias". Not only did the Greeks took the form of the chair, they adopted its ceremonial significance. These chairs were indispensable in the homes of men and women of rank. Refinements of these chairs became the "stools of divinity" and were commonly seen depicted  on vases and relief.

27BC-14AD Augustus on Curulle Chair

CALIGULA, 37-41. Sestertius. /Caligula, standing on a dais with curule chair or sella castrensis camp chair behind, extending right hand in a gesture of address. Five soldiers wearing crested helmets holding parazonia standards and shields stand before him listening

54 BC Pompeii. Coin commemorating curulle chairs

The X-chair became the prototype of the Roman chair, the curulle chair or sella curullis. The Romans gave the chair a  more imposing appearance by placing it on a podium or carriageor given high legs and a footrest. Like the Egyptians and the Greeks, the Romans also used cushions. Later, this chair appeared in ceremonies of the Catholic church. Various inscriptions suggest that the right of using a seat of this kind was granted as a mark of honour to distinguished persons by the magistrates. 

October 2003 excavation by Museum of London Archaeology Services

One of the found objects at the excavation of a Saxon king was a folding stool believed to be from Italy or the area which is now the modern Slovakia or Hungary.

Modern interpretation of a Maharajah's Chair

 Bone inlaid X-Chairs Made In India

Bone inlaid X-Chairs Made In India

Furniture was introduced to India by the English, Portuguese and Dutch. Until then, even common furniture like chairs and tables were rarely used there. Although they were known largely as adapters or transformers of Western style rather than the creators of their own  independent  style where furniture is concerned,  Indian wood craftsmen are widely sought after  for their excellent and detailed work. It is thus not surprising that bone inlaid X-chairs are now associated with India. 

Barcelona chair by Mies Van der Rohe for the German Pavillion

Till today, the simple X-chairs continue to inspire and you see them in various forms in households all over the world. 

As you can see, even dolls want them now. 


Fabiola said...

These little chairs are fabulous!
Bye Faby

Rosamargarita said...

Grandiosa investigación. Las de incrustaciones de hueso son preciosas.
Un abrazo

Ascension said...

Me ha encantado la investigacion que has hecho, ha sido muy interesante.
Preciosas fotografias.
Hasta muy prontooooooooooooo...jejeje
besitos ascension

Cote said...


rosanna said...

So lovely , where are you going to set them ? you'll tell me next week :o)))))

The Old Maid said...

Good I had no idea they are sooo acient... LOL!
Thank you for sharing this information dear Sans!
(As I can read everybody is waiting!!!!!Ha!)

Maria Ireland said...

The chairs are fantastic. Thank you for sharing this interesting information. Cant wait to see what you do with them.
Hugs Maria

Drora's minimundo said...

This was a very interesting lesson. You deserve a Ph.d. in history for this work.


Janice said...

I always learn something new when I read your posts. Thank you for sharing.

Eliana said...

Thank you for the archaeological study, Sans! ;D
The chair is really fantastic and of course to the dolls too!

Kikka said...

Hi Sans! Congrats for the Chairs! They have arrived to You! And they are stunning! Wow!
And the history is amazing! thank you for sharing!

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

Wonderful post Sans!

The beautiful pictures are food for my soul :)


Mieke*Petitevictorianrose*and*PastTimeChildhood said...

Hi Sans, what an interesting story about these lovely chairs, Thank you for telling and showing all the beautiful pictures :)

Hugs Mieke xxx

Eva said...

Muy interesante. Las sillas te han quedado de maravilla. Un saludo, Eva

BiWuBär said...

Now I understand why you've been a little quiet in blogland - you were busy doing historical research! ;O) Thank you for these very interesting and entertaining informations about the x-chair. What a career, nowadays the x-chair will be starring in a very special, outstanding dollhouse scene made by a magician with deep historical knowledge...


WeeLittleWest / Kathy Olaf-Obrenski said...


Josje said...

Great bit of history Sans! I love the photo of the excavation.

carmen said...

me encanta, nunca habría asociado yo las Barcelona a esas sillas de tijera...

carmen said...

me encanta, nunca habría asociado yo las Barcelona a esas sillas de tijera...

Eva - tatalamaru said...

Que de cosas se aprenden en tu blog.
Un besote

Ana Anselmo said...

I love furniture history, it is a fantastic way to lean how people lived. Do you know that we had a style of furniture called Indo-Portuguese furniture, it is very detailed with lots of inlaid work, if you want try to search in images "contador indo-português"

Craftland said...

Thank you for all those pictures. I have learned so much. Enjoy your X-chairs.
Hugs from Craftland

Daydreamer said...

I LOVE History, Sans! The story of how things develop and travel through time... adapting or staying true to their origins! You have found some Beautiful pictures of these Iconic chairs! And Ewa has done a FANTASTIC job making them!
So Which of your dolls are to get these Beautiful Artisan Chairs?
(And this Renaissance music is Just my style!):)

dale's dreams said...

I have always loved those chairs! I had no idea that the Barcelona chair had it in it's history.

In mini, of course it is divine. :)

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