While I wasn’t willing to disobey the photography rules of the Aiken-Rhett house in Charleston, S.C., other photographers have – or were granted permission by the Historic Charleston Foundation.
If you want to see the pieces of furniture for the slave quarters that I referenced in my blog entry, you can check out these sites:
This Flickr.com set has 80 photos of the house, including pictures of the slave quarters and their furnishings.
Photographer Julia Cart has this photo from the slave quarters.
This blogger has photos of the slave kitchen and his young girlfriend/wife.
The photo at the top of the entry is by me and is of the gate to the slaves’ work yard.
— Christopher Schwarz
My second version of a Roorkhee chair features details found on other traditional early 20th-century chairs – the most notable difference being that this chair does not have leather straps running left and right below the seat.
This strapless setup seems to be far more common in the historical photos I’ve examined of Roorkhee chairs at war and on safari.
The good news is that this chair sits just the same as the earlier version I built.
The even better news (for me) is that I have lots more variations to explore in the upcoming months because I have orders for several more of these chairs and will be teaching a class in making them next summer at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking.
The Roorkhee chair – sometimes called the Indian chair – was in production for much longer than my earlier sources suggested. I’ve found manufactured versions that look like they are from the 1970s. So there’s lots of territory for me and other woodworkers to trek through – different leg turnings, wood, hardware, leather strapping and so forth.
There’s even a version I’ve found that’s covered in fur. It will be great for your next winter adventure – or wife-swapping party I suppose.
My next variations will focus on the leather – I have some dyed leather sides coming that are waterproof and others that are dyed different colors on either side.
I still need to find a source for sewing some canvas seat covers, however. Otherwise I’m going to get a bad reputation in the bovine community.
— Christopher Schwarz