A Pair of Petrarca Chairs

Maxton Gunn, Province of Malagentia.

EK Wiki: https://wiki.eastkingdom.org/index.php?title=Maxton_Gunn

Anna Mickel’s garden needed chairs! I therefore chose to research and recreate the back-paneled arm chair which has remained on display for four hundred years in the former residence of the poet Francesco Petrarca, in the Italian province of Padua. I selected this “Petrarca chair” because of the elegant simplicity of its design, the completeness of its current condition, the availability of documentation on its past conditions, and the surety that it is an authentic example of a pre-17c chair and not just another well-disguised Victorian era reproduction. Although I studied several similar examples while drafting my plans, the new chairs are faithful to the illustrative Petrarca chair in form and proportion.

These are not Glastonbury chairs. Surprised? In 1504, an English monk of the Glastonbury Abbey built a chair guided only by a description brought from Rome by his Abbot. And although his chair did look like the Italian chairs which his boss had admired, his now-famous English Glastonbury chair entirely lacks the functional simplicity of its forebears. These present chairs were adapted directly from the well-refined Italian chairs, and not from the overly complicated English Glastonbury chair which they resemble.

Additional documentation for this project may be found at http://homes.ottcommunications.com/~freegate/petrarca_chairs.html

7 thoughts on “A Pair of Petrarca Chairs

  1. These are so lovely, I want a pair for my own garden! What a lovely way to create a medieval feeling!

  2. These are so wonderful! I really love the knobby finial on the top of the chairs. And the finish gives the oak a beautiful color.

  3. Very nice! Those really create a sense of place. Thanks for sharing your work.

  4. Beautiful! Between the construction and one of your comments: do they break down for travel? And I agree; I would love to have a pair of these! If only I had the time and money to learn everything I want to!

    1. Thank you!
      In line with several other examples of 15c furniture, the Petrarca chair can be easily converted for transport; in this case disassembled to a pile of parts. Even then, owning both a summer and a winter home was common amongst the wealthy, but owning two sets of furniture was apparently considered an extravagance!

  5. The finials were faithfully copied from the pre-17c Petrarca example. I was fortunate in that a visitor to the museum had posted a close-up photograph of that detail! They really do mark the chairs as not of this time.

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