Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Red Chair

   This chair belonged to my husband's grandfather. It was in his office when he was the County Executive of Baltimore. This was between 1958 and 1962.  We think it was in his office when he was on the Board of Commissioners between 1942 and 1954.
      Regardless, it is an old chair.  It is a much loved chair.  For the 23 years I have known my husband, I have loved this chair.  It sat for nearly all those years in my mother-in-law's damp basement.  Nothing was done with it in terms of restoration, except someone, possibly my husband's grandmother, replaced the seat cushion with a vinyl covered cushion - yuck!
     What makes this chair so special is its inviting nature.  This chair calls to you,  "Come and sit. Flip a leg over the arm and rest your head in the spot between the wing and the back as you nestle in with a book.  Come and relax."
     The wings on this chair are far deeper than those found on contemporary chairs, allowing you to really snuggle in and get comfortable.  And countless people have done just that.  My children, my nieces, my husband, his brother, and heaven knows how many others have all flopped into this chair wriggled back and flipped a leg over the arm.
    It is for this reason that I have been asking friends and relatives, work associates and strangers for the name of anyone who does leather upholstery.  I finally called a local museum, who gave me the name of a guy, who gave me the name of a lady, who now has the chair in her possession and is ordering new leather to re-upholster this chair and bring it back to life.  After fifty - plus years, the surface is cracked and rips as you look at it.  The countless legs draped over the arms  have disintegrated the leather and the inner stuffing is showing.
     It will take a few weeks, and a lot more than a few dollars, but this chair will soon be granted another 50 years,  or more,  of happy readers draped sideways as they relax.


  1. That's a beautiful piece of furniture. I'm so happy it will receive a new lease on life to continue seating those in your family for another 50 years or so.

  2. That's so worth doing! I have a battered old thriftstore leather coat that I might someday have restructured into a shoulder bag or something... I'm glad the chair gets an extension on life!

  3. Awesome!

    I have a friend in NYC who got a degree in furniture restoration from FIT; if you have future needs, let me know and I can run them by her.