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Chiavari Chair originated from the city Chiavari

Published:2016-05-25Author:Sources:Views:3553

Chiavari chairs are named for the Italian city where they originated. This little town, located between Genoa and the Cinque Terre, began producing these chairs at the beginning of the 19th century. It was here in 1795 that the Descalzi brothers opened their famous furniture workshop. In 1807, Gaetano Descalzi designed a light, elegant, yet solid, cherrywood chair – the chair Chiavarine. The chair jumped from the dining room to the ballroom – and has become the classic wedding chair. From White House events to weddings all over the country, this chair is the workhorse of event chairs. The Chiavari has inspired its share of designers and several versions now exist.

History

   The Chiavarina was created in 1807 by a cabinetmaker from Chiavari on the northwestern Italian coast, Giuseppe Gaetano Descalzi , who at the invitation of the president of the Economic Society of Chiavari, the Marquis Stefano Rivarola, reworked some chairs in the French Empire style, simplifying the decorative elements and lightening the structural elements.

   The chair was a success and soon many factories opened in Chiavari and surrounding towns. When Gaetano Descalzi died in 1855, about 600 workers were making Chiavari chairs.The chair was praised by Charles Albert of Savoy, Napoleon III, and by the sculptorAntonio Canova.

   The success of the Chiavarina declined following the introduction of the Austrian chairs of Michael Thonet which were mass-produced, less expensive, and consisting of few elements easily assembled, and in the second half of the twentieth century, following competition from industrial production. The architect and designer Gio Ponti was inspired by the structural system of the Chiavari chair for his Superleggera chair of 1955.

 

Design

  Chiavari Chairs given to Pope Leo XIII by the Italian City of Chiavari when the city became a diocese in 1892. The chair is designed with each component made for the specific stresses it will carry. Descalzi designed a slot system for the construction and a system to tie the strips of the purple willow which form the seat of the chair directly to the frame.The timbers originally used by Descalzi were wild cherry and maple, which were added to beech and ash, all of them from inland forests in Italy.



Chiavari chairs at a meeting in the White House State Dining Room in 2009



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