In preparation for a trip to France last fall, I looked at photo after photo of rental apartments with grand names – “River View,” Spectacular Dome des Invalides,” “Marais Glamour Studio.” But I kept thinking, “Where is the comfy chair?”
I’m like a dog or cat in my attachment to favorite chairs.
A good seat is important for so many activities – reading a book, knitting a scarf, chatting with a friend, drinking tea, eating a cookie, or writing in a journal.
It was hard for me to imagine spending a few weeks without an inviting place to sit. In the end it didn’t matter, because there was so much to see in Paris I spent very little time indoors sitting down.
Were my ancestors on Whirlwind Hill comfortable in their chairs? It’s hard to tell from old photos, since most of the pictures show serious men and women sitting still and stiff in straight-backed chairs.
Chairs have a human presence. With their arms and legs and seats and backs they seem like friends. So when my brother sent me a photo of an old chair he had recently found and purchased, I felt like I was meeting an ancestor for the first time.
The chair belonged to Hezekiah Hall, one of several Hezekiah Halls who once lived in Wallingford. An inscription on a slat under the seat reads,
“A RELIC OF HEZEKIAH HALL AD 1778 GREAT-GRANDFATHER OF WILLIS CHESTER AVERY WHO REJUVENATED IT OCT 1878 WALLINGFORD CONN.”
A well-preserved relic it is. Although it doesn’t look very comfortable, it has a feeling of dignity and artistic delicacy.
I don’t know very much about the Hezekiah Hall who owned this chair. At some point in my blog research I came across a biography of him, but I haven’t been able to find it again. His chair will have to stand in for him as I search for more information. To me it looks like the chair of an important person. I’ll let you know.
I love to paint and draw chairs. The furniture on the farm and in my parents’ house was so eclectic that it inspired my choices in making art and in furnishing my house. I plan to share some of these paintings and drawings in the weeks to come.