Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Klismos Chair

Klismos: Ancient Greek chair form with saber-shaped legs, splayed at the front with a concave back. Originally popular in the 18th century, the klismos chair saw a revived popularity in the 1940s in the work of designer T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.

Carol Prisant in the July, 2007 issue of House Beautiful claims she is seeing this design frequently, lately. Originally it was designed in Greece and its popularity peaked around 400 B.C.. It was revived in the 18th century. You'll know a klismo by its concave top rail that cups your shoulders and four curved saberlike legs.

Furniture of Ancient Greece by by A. Whitham writes
The Klismos, used principally by women, was made with delicately curved back and legs. These features allowed the sitter to be in a freer and more natural position. According to Bishop (1979), the backs of these chairs, referred to as Stiles, were designed to the curvature of the back for comfort and extended to the shoulders. The Klismos, like most other furniture, was made of wood and not ornately decorated. In order to increase the comfort, cushions and animal skins were usually placed on the Klismos.

We have a variation of a klismos in our home, high curved back, curved legs, but ours has arms with an upholstered back, seat and arms. The wood is dark honey colored and I chose a black fabric with nickel sized gold polka dots. It's Mike's favorite chair for reading, feet propped on the ottoman.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery
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