Monday, January 30, 2012

Have a seat.

Steven has been looking for a good desk chair for quite a while. Like me, he likes old things. Things that look like they probably have a story in them.

So, when he saw this chair in our first junk shop stop in Columbia, he was immediately smitten.

When I see a piece of furniture I like, I immediately look under the piece and around its edges for identifying information. It didn't take long to find the circular brass logo for W.H. Gunlocke and Co. I quickly googled the company and saw that this chair's twin was for sale on eBay for nearly $800.  Once we saw that, we didn't even flinch at the $20 price tag.

The details on this chair are incredible, from its hand-tacked leather seat (with only one scratch!) to the pristine mechanics underneath. It's a 1940s wonder and is still amazingly comfortable, even after over 70 years.

W.H. Gunlocke chairs have an amazing American history, starting in 1902, when they began in a New York factory. They managed to survive the Great Depression, and FDR even chose a Gunlocke chair for his seat in the Oval Office. Eight other US presidents, including JFK  chose a Gunlocke chair for their time in the Oval Office.

Finding out interesting historical facts about seemingly forgotten pieces of furniture or articles of clothing bring them back to life. I think knowing where something came from can explain why it still exists today--from its craftsmanship to the care its previous owners took over these pieces.

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