What is a Chesterfield chair?
A chesterfield chair is an upholstered seat with no arms, low back and deep buttoning. It usually has dark leather upholstery, brass studs or nail head trim that forms box pleats. The design features of the classic English-style Chesterfield are attributed to Thomas Sheraton who designed the original for this style in 1793. Originally made in Chester, England, during the 19th century, it was associated with wealth due to being so difficult to produce by hand. When silk became more available during the 1870's, velvet was often used as well which still defines much of the appearance of modern versions today.
The same techniques are used in making Chesterfields as regular chairs, but the design is a little different. The short-back version of the chair was used in all but the most formal settings for 200 years until it became overwhelmed by the long-back during Victorian times. By then, its popularity was waning and production eventually stopped altogether. In 1998, an English manufacturer revived the name when they brought back to life this iconic piece of furniture history. In doing so, they made minor changes such as using metal instead of wood nail heads and sewing buttons down with zigzag stitching rather than hand stitching them together so that they would look more polished to modern tastes and meet higher expectations (Smith, 2016).
What are 5 key characteristics of Chesterfields?
- Deep buttoning
- Low back
- No arms
- Upholstered seat
- Dark leather upholstery
What is the history of Chesterfield chairs? The chesterfield chair was first designed around 1790 by Thomas Sheraton. It became very popular during the early 1800's, but production stopped in the middle of the century. In 1998, an English manufacturer brought it back to life, making minor changes that would meet higher expectations (Smith, 2016).
Who are some famous designers that have incorporated this style into their furniture design?
Hugo Hugo Boss is one of many famous furniture designers who included this style in his work. He incorporated deep buttoning and low backs into most of his seating pieces including some simple guest chairs as well as more elaborate designs like armchairs with lift-up seats (Hansen, 2010).
What does the term 'chesterfield' mean? In addition to referring to a specific type of upholstered seating, chesterfield can also be used as an adjective. It's been used in this manner since the late 1800s and refers to a dark-colored fabric with a twill weave that is often referred to as Chesterfield cloth (Hachey, 2014).
Is there any interesting history behind the name "chesterfield?" What does it have to do with Chester, England?
Yes. The name comes from the city of Chester in the United Kingdom and it's been referred to as such since 1791.