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
Framing thecentral 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 theseat 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 thechairs 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
In keeping withthe 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.