Once a staple feature of stately homes throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, hall chairs occupied a prominent position in the home’s entryway. Placed to accommodate guests entering the home before they were invited into the more intimate inner rooms, they also provided a discreet resting place for waiting servants, the solid upright back prevented slouching!
Thomas Chippendale’s ‘The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director’, 1754, featured the first designs for the hall chair. The backs, carved from solid wood, were often painted with the family’s coat of arms and motto, which these days allows for provenance to easily be traced. They feature a solid hardwood seat, allowing for it to be easily cleaned. Hall chairs are not to be confused with porter’s chairs of the same period, which were designed with a cocoon like back to exclude draughts.
In recent years there has been a surge of popularity in Hall chairs. Alongside the robust design, and clean, architectural aesthetic, the chairs often come in pairs; creating a pleasing symmetry when placed either side of a console table in a hallway.