The Art of the Tuft

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The chesterfield, an iconic staple of British furniture, epitomizes the sophistication and charm of English lifestyle. It was the 4th Earl of Chesterfield that requested a sofa that would allow a gentleman to sit upright in the utmost of comfort without wrinkling the garment. Ever since the creation of the chesterfield in the mid 18th century the style has continued to live on. The details revealing themselves in different furniture styles and eras, from the traditional wingback armchairs seen in libraries to midcentury designs in Paris.

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The style of the tufting varies according to the furniture’s designer. For example, these chesterfield chairs from Sweden have a very shallow tuft yet the stitching is iconic chesterfield. The ebonized carving of the wood legs in the style of chinoiserie design make this pair of chairs quite unique.

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The English furniture style, while sometimes overly traditional, lives on through new mediums and eras. The iconic Barcelona chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich draws tufting inspiration from the chesterfield while being applied to an architecturally new body shape just as this Danish egg chair does by designer H.W. Klein.

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As trends continue to evolve so will designer’s inspiration. However, one thing remains constant, traditional English furniture will always be an inspiration and will never go out of style.

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Picture 4A leather Chesterfield sofa England circa 1840 (AZ166) A collection of colorful wheel on stands, France circa 1900 (AY122) A red book-case, Belgium circa 1880 (AZ31) A poster on board, France circa 1970 (AY111).

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An inlaid box, England circa 1870 (AT117), Sets of ceramic pots, China circa 1880 (AZ107), An onyx tazza, Italy circa 1880 (AZ63), A wooden box, France circa 1800 (AW223)

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