This time we’re having an Irish themed Chair Chat. Chris talks about his DNA test that confirmed his part-Irish heritage. It also said he’s part Neanderthal. [Insert cheeky comment]. Like Chris, today’s chair victim is presumably Irish and vernacular. As always, we’re not sure of anything here. Not even our own sexual identities. We do however conclude that the chair has undergone a traditional Irish Beer Fart Finish™. As always, this chat is rated PG-13 and contains bearded men talking about finishing hard wood. If that offends you, please stop reading and call our Very Hot Line ™ for advice.
Klaus: Where’s that Irish chair, Rudy? You got the photos? I’m trying to warm up by getting drunk here. By the way, Chris, you’re part Irish, aren’t you?
Chris: Yup. My bung hole or my liver is. I forget.
Klaus: How can you tell? I mean, have you got red hair somewhere?
Chris: DNA testing. I’m also like 4 percent Neanderthal. Which is cool.
Klaus: Oh. Did you get all your potential death causes too? Is it that kind of test?
Chris: Yup. Gonna die any day now. Heart disease.
Klaus: Damn. Thanks for everything. Rudy and me can take over Lost Art Press.
Rudy: Here is the chair by the way.
Klaus: It’s been eaten by Irish worms.
Rudy: And repaired by some Irish blacksmith.
Klaus: Yeah, that crude repair is charming. Makes me wanna break one of my chairs just to repair it like that. With some old hinges or something. Hey, where’s Chris? Did he die already?
Rudy: I think we lost him.
Rudy: That chair did it.
Chris: Nope. Looking at the photos. I probably need to walk to the shop and make one just like it.
Klaus: It’s a thing of beauty, indeed.
Rudy: So many worm holes. Have you ever seen a fake with worm holes?
Chris: Oh sure. They use old wormy wood to make the copies.
Rudy: I love the entasis on the sticks.
Klaus: The entasis is perfect. I find it difficult sometimes to get that right on my own chairs.
Chris: I think the crest and the arms are perfect.
Rudy: Just beautiful.
Klaus: That angle on the crest there. Perfect proportions.
Chris: Like most Irish chairs, I think the undercarriage is a little … conventional. I like some funkier rake and splay.
Rudy: It could use some outward movement indeed. A little splay goes a long way. And look at how nice and wide that crest is. It is wider than the splay!
Chris: Exactly. Make the legs do some more work. The top is just SO dramatic, and the bottom is playing catch-up. Don’t get me wrong, this is one of the prettiest Irish chairs I’ve seen.
Rudy: Three out of four legs drilled at the correct angle, not bad!
Klaus: I love the back sticks!
Chris: It’s interesting to see how the maker proportioned the spacing of the back sticks.
Rudy: Exactly. An uneven number and very balanced.
Klaus: They splay nicely too.
Chris: They divided the bottom space and the top space evenly. They didn’t mimic the angle of the outer sticks. That shows some experience and skill.
Klaus: Seat is pretty thin, too.
Chris: I know (hence the repair).
Klaus: Yup, good point.
Rudy: The arms look at least as thick or even thicker. And the legs are pretty square. Closer to squares than octagons.
Chris: Yup. The arms are beefier, and the hands are really nice.
Rudy: Yes, I love the hands. So dramatic.
Chris: They took a standard shape and carved some life into it.
Chris: When I fall in love with a chair like this, I always worry it’s a fake. Like it was made to appeal to me.
Rudy: Since that one chair we discussed I am always scared of loving a fake.
Chris: Like waking up with your wife and discovering it’s a man!
Rudy: It’s like if the plastic surgery industry became really good at making incredibly beautiful fake boobs!
Chris: Exactly. Vernacular fake breasts. With perfectly aged and patinated nipples. I’m just really suspicious of vernacular chairs that are so perfect.
Klaus: What does the info say here, then? Not that it doesn’t make it fake.
Rudy: I’ll dig up the info. Hang on. By the way has the seat not been painted like the rest of the chair? It looks so clean.
Klaus: Good point. Would be hard to wear off the paint in between the sticks.
Chris: There was a time when dealers stripped all paint off everything. In dip tanks. They did it here, too. The clean seat doesn’t actually worry me.
Rudy: Yes I read about that in Kinmonth’s book. It could very well be that they stripped it off. That leg looks like it was stripped.
Chris: Sure does.
Klaus: Yeah, hard to see how it could wear off like that.
Chris: It could be that they stripped it but didn’t scrub some areas. All these chairs have been handled by dealers. So there is going to be some tarting up. Maybe a little (clean and wax), maybe a lot (stripping and faking).
Klaus: Why did they do this? The stripping? To make them look better?
Chris: At one point it was the “taste” to see them bare nekkid.
Klaus: Those perverts!
Rudy: The wear on the crest looks pretty convincing. And not tampered with.
Chris: Yeah. This one is confusing.
Klaus: The crest would be easy to strip completely. Weird that they left it like that. Makes me think they tried to go for a certain look.
Chris: Maybe they stripped it and then added some paint?
Klaus: If so, they rubbed it off again.
Rudy: Yes, rubbed it to make it realistic.
Chris: Yup. Rubbing is always good.
Klaus: I like getting rubbed.
Rudy: Rubbing: Good. Rubbing chairs: GOOD.
Chris: I assume most finishes have been messed with.
Klaus: Unless we’re becoming paranoid.
Chris: What makes me worry is when the chair was built from scratch as a fake. So once again, we have to tip our hats to the maker. Whether he was in Dublin or Wuhan.
Rudy: I will one day soon make a fake chair from scratch and present it to you guys.
Klaus: Maybe the maker just wanted an antique look, not actually trying to make it look fake? After all it’s only fake if you try to fool someone..
Rudy: I really somehow like how this chair looks from this angle:
Rudy: So cute I want to cuddle it.
Klaus: I think the short, stubby legs makes it a bit cute. It looks comfy, too!
Chris: A lot of these are really low. Like 15″
Klaus: I wish the two front sticks had the same angle as the back sticks and the front legs.
Rudy: You know what, I really like low chairs!
Chris: The back looks about 10°, WHICH IS THE PITCH I USED ON MY PROTOTYPE! Sorry for the old man caps.
Rudy: No need to shout, Chris.
Klaus: WE HEAR YOU!
Chris: I love low chairs.
Rudy: I find low chairs so easy to get up out of. And I love how they lounge.
Chris: You just roll forward. Anyway, I’m adding more pitch to my next “box” chair to make it more comfortable.
Rudy: 20°, right?
Chris: Yes. 20°. Sits really nice. And reflects the undercarriage. It looks too dramatic to be an old chair. But it’s nice.
Klaus: I’m definitely starting a box chair too, this week.
Rudy: I think the undercarriage I have recently assembled has too much splay to pass for a box chair. But I’ll try anyway.
Chris: I’ve made some damn upright chairs. One of my first ones was 7°! That’s before I knew beter.
Klaus: Who is Beter?
Rudy: Beter is Dutch for better. Chris has been learning Dutch.
Chris: .. and Norwegian for beater.
Klaus: Wife Beter. TN.
Rudy: TN? Tennessee?
Chris: Trade Narc?
Klaus: That’s funny! You’re funny for being so old, Chris.
Klaus: I mean TM(™)! Not TN!
Klaus: Anyway, I want a t-shirt that says Wife Beter™.
Rudy: So, that blacksmith saves the day here. How many years do y’all think the chair survived before breaking with that pizza-peel-thin seat?
Chris: I know. Amazing it is still around.
Klaus: Indeed. Speaking of pizza. Looks like someone has been slicing their pizza on that chair seat.
Chris: The worms did it.
Klaus: You’re probably right.
Chris: Once again, the wear on the seat is curious. Shouldn’t the saddle be lighter in color?
Klaus: Yeah, it’s like the wear is inverted.
Chris: Or the owner had horrible farts.
Klaus: Or that. I’ve head Irish farts can be very bad.
Rudy: Hard to tell from the pictures but yes, I would expect any wear to be lighter.
Rudy: He had the beer shits on a regular basis
Chris: Potatoes. Cabbage. Beer.
Rudy: Or perhaps this is, after all, again, a toilet chair. Just without a hole.
Chris: And they couldn’t afford the bowl.
Klaus: This was probably the chair of one of the pub’s regulars. I think his name was Fartin’ McShitty.
Chris: That’s a menu item at our McDonald’s.
Chris: Never order it with the special sauce.
Klaus: I’ll have a McShitty and fries with brown gravy, please.
Rudy: I found the info about the chair!
“A primitive ochre painted Irish stick back ‘hedge’ chair, termed also as Famine or Fool’s chairs, dating from ca. 1830. The chairs originate from rural Ireland where half of the population of in the 18th and 19th century lived in single-roomed dwellings, demonstrating the widespread rural poverty of the time. These chairs would have been placed around the fire as the hearth was the focal point of these dwellings. The chairs are purported to be low as often peat was burnt in the fire which emitted noxious gases. Furniture was often painted to keep it clean and help preserve against dampness which was prevalent in rural cottages. The chair is in robust condition for age, some wonderful period repairs. There are signs of historic worm activity throughout t… (…)”.
Rudy: “Historic worm activity.”
Chris: I hope the worms wore period costume. Waistcoats and all.
Rudy: Haha. I hope they were vernacular worms and not Victorian ones.
Chris: Or high-style worms… the worst.
Klaus: They were probably McWorms.
Chris: McWorms is also on the menu here.
Klaus: In Covington and in Asia. I hear worms are the future of food. I ate a bug in Bangkok once.
Rudy: Fried worms can be pretty tasty apparently.
Chris: We’ll all be eating bugs soon enough. And then they will eat us. And then….
Rudy: We’re all gonna die.
Chris: My grandfather ate chocolate covered crickets.
Rudy: My grandfather ate ass.
Chris: I hear it tastes like moose.
Rudy: Big fat donkey ass. I would ask him but he’s dead.
Chris: OK, so how do we rate this chair on a scale of McWorms to “Xena Warrior Princess?” I rate it as “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.”
Rudy: I love the shape and the entasis gets me going. Not even to talk about the crest. I think it has a beautiful overall shape and looks balanced.
Klaus: I’ll say it’s pretty high up on the scale, too.
Chris: Would you sleep with it? If it had the right equipment?
Rudy: Absolutely. You?
Chris: Me too.