It's part of mankinds condition to relate to all objects, animate and inanimate, in human terms. Toddlers turn their teddy bears into guests for tea, cartoonists promote a beastiary of the bizarre and many languages demand that objects are given a sex. It's a long known fact, of good design, that objects must be created in human terms. The origin of the Georgian window is a case in point. All it's proportions are based on human ones. It's not for nothing that we stand back on the pavement in Merrion Square and admire the twinkling lights of so many panes catching a shrinking sun. We are admiring ourselves.
Any woman, of a certain age, will tell you that you can judge a man by his shoes. After all, that is how the fairer sex judges itself. YSL, Jimmy's or Louboutin's? A shoe may not have a face but it does have a soul. For me the most anthropomorphic of loves is the chair. I like a good human quadruped. Wherever I go I am on the look out to make new friends of the four legged variety. Not dogs, not cats - but chairs.
The Amstelkring in the Red Light District of Amsterdam hosts some Christian examples. These are not the thrones of the Kremlin, the Victorian sofas of Dublin Castle or the Academic mahogany examples of Trinity. These are chairs worn soft by constant vulgar use. Vulgarity being, in chair terms, the highest order. Of course, the Netherlands has form when it comes to sitting down. The most famous chair in art was depicted by Van Gogh. Sitting there, nursing the artist's pipe, the chair waits to provide relaxation for a man whose mind was a hectic machinegun of ideas and emotions. Cousins of that chair sit in the kitchen of Our Lord in the Attics as the museum is known when translated from Dutch. An example (probably late 19th, early 20th century) with an ancient coffer is given above.
Closer to home, in Glasgow, sits one of the greatest of the museums of the British & Irish Isles, the Burrell. This is the collection of a Scottish magnate which was donated to the city of his success. And what a collection! Wonderful works by Rodin, Chinese porcelain, a Rembrandt and so many other delights - each worthy of a sonnet. And there in the cafeteria, some wonderful hide and wood chairs. I have pictured one below. And they say the 70's was a decade that style forgot? These chairs have it!
Whether wood of oak, mahogany or pine was shaped and hung with hide or straw each of these chairs, for me, tells us a little about the age and a lot about ourselves.
I think I need to sit down now.