Sunday, 26 January 2014


This is a corner of the living room at Les Lavandes, our hideaway.  Both the writing desk and the chair have been recycled.  The desk was from an interview room at a branch of the bank where I worked.  When the room was revamped, this was to be thrown out.  I rescued it and used it as my desk when I left the bank and worked, self-employed, from home.  The chair - which is a lot more comfortable than it looks - was in the far corner of a junk shop in the Dordogne, covered in dust and cobwebs.  I know it is comfortable because there was one night when I could not lie comfortably due to arthritis and I managed to sleep pretty well in this chair.  Apart from simply brushing off the dust and cobwebs, I had to give the chair a good rub down with wire wool and methylated spirits to clean off the residual dirt after getting it home. Indeed, I had to rub it down several times. And that wasn't particularly easy as the chair has numerous tricky bits as you can see from the picture below. Both the chair and the table were stripped (by me) and re-polished and they get the occasional touch of beeswax to keep them looking good.

I haven't identified the wood the chair is made of but I think it is oak. What is not obvious from the picture is that the arms curve. Now in a modern chair I would expect the wood to have been bent, but that wasn't done with this chair. Those arms were actually carved to shape. The seat is covered in a sort of leatherette - what was, I think, called rexine - which might help to date it. I suspect that it was made in the 1920s.

1 comment:

joeh said...

I used to love refinishing old furniture, very calming and satisfying, also get a good buzz from the chemicals. That desk and the chair is well worth the reclamation project...both very nice pieces.