Hammond Chair

Yesterday I briefly posted some pics of three-legged chairs I found in Southern Furniture 1680-1830: The Colonial Williamsburg Collection. The chairs reminded me of the Furniture of Necessity that Christopher Schwarz is working on and thus caught my attention (partly because Chris comes up with some of the craziest things that turn out to be ridiculously interesting).

WB Three Legged stool 1

This is the chair that I like the most. It was acquired by the CWC in 1995 and was originally owned by a one Philip Hammond. The dimensions are listed as being 351/2″ high by 31 3/4″ wide with a seat depth of 18 1/2″. The seat, arms, and stiles are all made out of poplar and the legs are oak.

Aside from being an example of a three-legged stool it also has an interesting texture. At first I thought it had been through a fire, but the book says that it has a black finish that has been “oxidized and heavily crazed.” I’m not sure if “crazed” is a finishing technique or just something that happens with age (pun probably intended). Either way, I don’t have clue what that means.

The book also mentions that the stool was common in rural British households and was used for cooking around a hearth. The three-legged design was to increase stability on an uneven surface.

As far as construction it seems that everything (legs, stiles, and arms) are all round tenoned with a central wedge.

I like this thing. In fact, I think Christopher Schwarz is a genius for going down this road. I’m just hoping that when the book comes out he explains what a “crazed” finish looks like.

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