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have a one armed chair passed down to me and I'm interested in knowing
what it is and what it was used for, besides sitting. It is very
delicate and sits low to the ground, it also only has one arm. I showed
a picture online to an antique forum and one person said that it was a
chair used for soldiers who didn't want to remove their swords so they
leaned on the one side of the chair (Gentlemen's chair). But another
person told me it was a Victorian piece that was part of a settee. And
finally one person said that it is a Victorian aesthetic corner chair. I
cannot find another one armed chair like it on the web.
Helen has is a one-arm ladies chair made in the Eastlake style from
1870-1885. And, yes, it was part of a parlor set, which usually included
a love seat, a two-armed gentleman's chair, and a one-armed ladies'
chair. They made these chairs with one arm and low to the ground because
the ladies of the time wore dresses with lots of fabric in their skirts,
covering over one or more petticoats. They made them low to the floor so
that ladies could remove their shoes without having to bend over too
far. And finally, the Eastlake style grew out of the beginning of the
Aesthetic Movement which later evolved into the Arts and Crafts
Movement. Charles Eastlake, himself, wasn't a furniture maker but wrote
a book, Hints on Household Taste, which gave suggestions on how
to decorate a home in a refined manner. The new middle class house
mistresses loved it.
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