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Antique Chairs - Item 5121
8 Chestnut and Leather Dining Chairs

5121- 8 Gothic Dining Chairs

(scroll down for additional photos -- color differential is due to shadow)
 
Item 5121 8 Gothic Dining Chairs in Chestnut, Upholstered in Leather
Dimensions Width 18, Height 47, Depth 15½ (in inches)
Wood Chestnut
Country France
Date Circa 1900
Description

These chairs embody one of the aspects we love best about Gothic design – an overall consistency of style in which individual pieces are distinct.  As the photos reflect, there are various designs used for the rectangular panel comprising the backs.  They incorporate the basic elements of tracery or fenestrage such as quatrefoils (four-lobed figures), mouchettes (elliptical shapes with two main interior lobes), circles (as in rose windows), flowers, and tall, slender lancet arches. Mixed and matched, these elements are incorporated into clever patterns inviting closer examination and enjoyment.
Framing the central rectangular panels of each back is a column on each side, a rail of open tracery below the panel, and a triangular-shaped structure above the panel.
  This uppermost figure of each back also includes open tracery but is capped by a fleur-de-lys-shaped finial.  The columns are topped by small four-sided floral figures.  The floral theme is echoed in the band surrounding the leather seats and in the interlacing pattern just below the triangular-shaped top of each chair.
Just below the seat is a frieze, on three sides, comprised of rounded arches with stylized fleur-de-lys shapes at the cusps.
  The frieze is anchored at the front corners by a rectangular block, on the front side of which a lancet arch has been carved.  This echoes the design of the blocks forming the base of the columns that frame the central panel of each back.
The base of the chairs is structured as four legs, the two in the front being decorative, twisted columns reflecting those found in the interiors of Gothic cathedrals.
  Uniting these legs to complete the base structure is an X-shaped stretcher, gently curving in shape.
Taken together, the effect of these elements is stunning. particularly due to the richness of color and patina of chestnut, a wood rarely used for furniture in the Gothic style.
In keeping with the style of the time, the back sides of the chairs are unadorned, based on the expectation that when not in use they would be pushed up against a wall.
 

Reference

Boccador, Jacqueline, Le Mobilier Français du Moyen Age à la Renaissance, Editions d’Art Monelle Hayot (Saint-Just-en-Chaussée, 1988); Thirion, Jacques, Le Mobilier du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance en France (Editions Faton, Dijon, 1998); Viollet-le-Duc, Eugène, Le Mobilier Médiéval (Georges Bernage, editor) (Editions Heimdal, 2003)
 

Uses

Like all our chairs, these are sturdy and meant to be sat upon.  With the seats recovered in luscious cognac-colored leather to complement the magnificent chestnut, these chairs should enhance every dining experience.
 

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