My latest chair is a white oak backstool/armchair that is inspired by the chair that Bilbo Baggins sits in during the opening of “The Fellowship of the Ring.” This full-size chair is by no means a copy of that chair, however. Read on for details.
With a seat that is 17-1/2” off the floor and a back splat that is tilted at 12°, this chair is set up for keyboarding, dining, drawing or writing epic tales. It is about as comfortable as you can make a backstool, which has a solid backsplat.
The chair is 35” high, 26” wide and 22” deep, making it fairly compact. The undercarriage is Swiss/Germanic with reverse-tapered legs that are tenoned and wedged into solid oak battens. These battens are then joined to the seat with sliding dovetails.
The seat is lightly saddled, as per most vernacular chairs. The short sticks are shaved octagons. The chair’s hands are based on many Irish chairs I’ve inspected. The tenons through the hands are left proud and knifed to shape.
The chair’s backsplat is tenoned into the seat and then let into a large notch in the armbow.
All the joints are assembled using hide glue, so if anything ever becomes loose, it can be easily repaired. The finish is a blend of organic linseed oil and beeswax. This is not a durable finish. But it takes on patina quickly and is easily repaired.
So what’s different about this chair from the one in the movie? Lots. The battens are a different shape and are joined to the seat with sliding dovetails for durability. The turned sticks on the movie chair are shaved on my version (and I added two more sticks). The one-piece arm in the movie chair is replaced with a three-piece armbow. And my hands are a different shape.
I can’t tell if the chair seat from the movie is saddled because it is covered in a cushion. I saddled mine.
The chair is $1,300 plus actual shipping via common carrier. Shipping typically runs between $100 and $225 depending on where you live. Delivery within 100 miles of Cincinnati is free – or you can pick it up at our shop in Covington, Ky. If you are interested in the chair, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask all the questions you like, but the first person to say “I’ll take it” gets it.
I’m working on another one of these chairs right now, and it should be up for sale in a week or so.
— Christopher Schwarz