Any traditional original or replica chair linked to a particular style or period is a classic chair. As you can imagine there were chairs designed and produced in different times and in different geographical locations. Through time, chairs have been realized with different production techniques and materials. That's why when we talk about a classic chair to be more precise we need to establish its specific "style".
There are so many different styles of classic chairs; all of these are available in many different finishes and if upholstered they can be padded with fabric or leather in an endless selection of colours and patterns. This as a start makes the classic chair a very eclectic piece of furniture. Up to a few decades ago there was an accent on the style; a room and often the whole house/restaurant/hotel was furnished top to bottom in a single classic style.
Recently this trend has diminished; the general demand has gone more in the direction of modern and contemporary but, more and more often, we can see in these modern settings the introduction of accent pieces like a classic chair in contrast with the rest of the modern pieces.
The demand for classic chairs is always on the up and down as different part of the world follow different trends. From what we have seen a classic chair design is everlasting and will always meet the needs of some particular designer.
The classic chair is probably the most important component in a collection of classic italian furniture. You won't be able to find a collection of classic italian furniture which does not include a classic chair. In any case, in the tradition of the classic Italian furniture the variety of styles and designs does not permit to define univocally the main characteristics of the classic Italian chair. The most famous classic Italian chairs are in baroque style.
Beside the Italian baroque style, the Savonarola style and the Chiavari style are two significant examples of Italian classic chairs.
The first Chiavari Chair - called "Chiavarina" - was created in 1807. All the different replica chairs in the Chiavari style are among the most sought after Italian classic chairs all over the world especially in USA.
The Savonarola chair was named after Girolamo Savonarola, the famous dominican friar. The Savonarola style emerged in Florence in the 14th century.
French style is one of the most famous styles not only in France and Europe but all over the world; most of our classic chairs are replica of these period furniture. The House of Bourbon ruled the courts of France and its world of fashion for nearly two centuries. The "Fabulous Four," Louis styles: Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI; they had a huge influence on the arts and design of the chairs.
Distinguishing a style of a classic french chair is a matter of who was ruling France and when. The style of each king distinguished his reign from the others and the periods in French classic furniture design follow the time periods associated directly with the reign of a particular king.
Talking about classic chairs styles implies talking about replica chairs: unless you are the like owner of an original French chair of the XVI century, the product you are sitting on is (hopefully) a good reproduction of the original style.
Here below we mention just a few of the most popular european classic styles of chairs and the country where they was borned:
Italy - Baroque style, Savonarola, Chiavari, Thonet.
United Kingdom - Queen Anne, Chippendale
France - Empire and Louis styles
Austria - Biedermeier
Several styles where born in different countries and these was named under the ruling king, queen or emperor or sometime under the name of the designer or carpenter that created it.
The replica chairs by Sevensedie are mainly inspired to the Louis style but there are many other styles beside this and in particular baroque style chairs. With over forty years of experience in the production of classic Italian furniture Sevensedie is your ideal partner if you are looking for classic chairs.
Each King Louis had his own style.
Louis XIV style is marked by grandeur, bold effects, not excessive ornament and flawless workmanship. Louis XIV furniture was elaborate and costly; for this reason very few pieces were produced and most of them were confined to the royal palaces and to the splendid mansions of the aristocracy located in and around Paris.
There is a wide choice of materials that can be used to upholster a classic chair: silk, linen, cotton and polyester fabrics plain or pattern.
The most luxurious upholstery material beside silk remains the real leather. Real leather is a very versatile product and it comes in a huge variety of colors and textures: from the soft Sauvage to glossy coated finishes or vintage looks the choice is endless. In one of the next chapters we will see in more details the upholstery materials that nowadays are most often used.
Through the years in the attempt of creating new trends and designs, chairs makers and designers have explored new materials; we have seen the use of metal, very often this was Brass as it was relatively easily available, light and easy to shape. At the beginning of 1930 with the invention of plexiglas, followed by fiberglass and similar materials, a new world opened up. From that time these more technical materials was used for the construction of many different models; these new materials allow us to achieve shapes and designs that before we could not even think of. In the recent years, especially with the use of plexiglas, we have seen designer recreating traditional models in Baroque or Louis style that before this time were always made only in wood.
A classic chair is generally upholstered; in time with the evolution of techniques and industrial materials, the way that a chair gets upholstered has been drastically modified.
Originally a classic chair would have been made out of a solid structure made occasionally in metal or brass but more often in wood.
The seat and the backrest used to be padded with the materials available at the time: straw, metal springs and linen belts. The material used for the upholstery, generally fabric or leather, was secure to the frames by elegant ornamental nails. Nowadays through the introduction of new materials as polyurethane, available in several consistency and also fire retardant, we can achieve the same typical, elegant and everlasting classic design of a chair at lower costs. More performing and long lasting material ensuring a much higher level of comfort and and longer lasting products. A classic chair can also be all in wood or metal without any upholstery. Some classic chairs are made just with a wood backrest and with a wooden seat; often these sort of chairs are more comfortable than they look thanks to the specific ergonomic shape of the wooden elements.
It need to be comfortable, it has a specific seat height generally between 47 and 52 cm to sit at a table with height between 76 and 82 cm. The chair must be comfortable for the user: seat, height and depth of classic dining chairs generally vary from a country to another in order to be suitable to the average height of the population.
For example clients from most of the far east countries require the seat height to be no more than 46/48 cm on the opposite northern european countries prefer a higher seat. The seat height for the US is in line with the one we have in Italy but there is often a request for deeper and wider seats.
Most classic dining chairs are available with the matching armchairs; in many countries two armchairs are placed at the far ends of the dining table and are the seating places for the head of the family or for the guests of honors.
The quantity of seats around the table vary from country to country; we can go from as little as two chairs up to any quantity. In some countries the standard dining table can be up to 5 meters in length and take up to 14 dining chairs and 2 or 4 dining chairs with arms.
Discover our classic chairs
Subscribe to our newsletter if you want to take advantage of our exclusive offers for the B2B sector, receive the catalog with new products or meet us at an international furniture fair.