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Wood Table Chairs - Wood Chairs And Table - Wood Table Chair - 4Barstools.Com

Wood Table Chairs

While wood table chairs as we know them have existed for thousands of years, it was not until the 16th century that the chair became an ordinary item of furniture. Though chairs existed for perhaps millennia prior to this, as far back as ancient Egypt and Greece, they were used strictly for royalty, statesmen and dignitaries. These chairs included thrones and sedan chairs, but were not limited to these functions. Early royal chairs were made from the finest woods, such as ebony, often ornately carved and sometimes gilded. They might also be inlaid with gems and decorative stones or carved ivory. Various scenes were carved into the backs and sometimes even the sides of the chairs.

Wood table chairs did not come into common use until the Renaissance period. Prior to this time, common people still had to have places to sit, of course, but they did not use wood chairs to do so. Instead benches, stools, and chests were used as seats for the common man. A stool might be built very much like the bottom half of a chair, but backrests and armrests were a luxury only available to the very privileged in earlier times. Once chairs lost their royal designation, they were made almost exclusively with armrests until near the end of the 1500's. Chairs in general use were rarely if ever upholstered, as many of their royal ancestors had been, until the middle of the 17th century.

Once chairs came into regular usage, their ornate designs began to evolve with the ever changing fashions of the times, and so it is that a wooden chair from the Georgian era, with its high round back and scrollwork legs, is much different from the straight, low back style with braced legs that originated in Elizabethan times. And certainly neither of those chairs bears much resemblance to a chair from the Italian Renaissance chair from the 17th century which featured U-shaped curves, a seat cushion, and an elaborately carved backrest, or to the upholstered, but otherwise unadorned Henri II style.

The 18th century is considered by many to be the "golden age" of chairs, particularly in England and France. This is when the cabriole leg evolved from being the vertical support of Chinese lacquered tables to that of stylish chairs. In addition, leather or velvet upholstery began to be replaced with tapestry work and walnut would often replace oak.

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