A 1930s French Take on the Roorkee


French architect and designer Jean-Charles Moreux reimagined the Roorkee chair in the 1930s by imposing classical column details to the chair’s turned legs.

Note how the top turnings – once the handle for moving the original design around camp – have been shaped into a classical column, complete with entasis. Other interesting points (from a maker’s perspective):

• The joints are blind instead of through.
• The front legs are asymmetrical, note the top of the leg where the armrest goes.
• The armrests attach with twist-lock fasteners. I’ve seen this detail on some other later versions of this chair.
• The only odd design choice (to my eye) is the gothic lancet arch shape at the top of the rear legs. Combining gothic and neo-classical shapes always looks wrong to my eye.

If you are interested in seeing more photos (or purchasing these chairs), visit the seller’s web site via 1stdibs.

— Christopher Schwarz

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Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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4 Responses to A 1930s French Take on the Roorkee

  1. Lwroten says:

    Interesting, The rear and front seat support are the same height. I think it would be less comfortable, though easier to get out of. Also, there is no strap tying the sides together. Seems like the chair sides would seperate if you wiggled around much or sat it on uneven ground. From the two that I have built, it seems like a necessity.

  2. David Cockey says:

    “Turnbuckle” usually is the name for “a device that usually consists of a link with screw threads at both ends, that is turned to bring the ends closer together, and that is used for tightening a rod or stay”. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turnbuckle “Twist lock fastener” is a common name for the type of fastener holding the front of the armrests in place.

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