Depending on what part of the world you are in, this highly carved Swiss escabelle chair has many different names.
In areas where French is spoken, such as Western Switzerland, the chair is often called an escabelle, which translates to “footstool”. It is also sometimes referred to as a sellette or a scabelle. People of German descent also have several names for this style of chair: stabelle (which means “table”), a bauernstuhl or a brettstuhl (“peasant chair” or “board chair”), or sidele. The Italians called their chair a sgabello, which means “stool”.
Despite the abundance of names, the escabelle is easily definable. The origins of the chair can be traced back to the Gothic period when high backed chairs with armrests were produced for feudal lords. These chairs mimicked the thrones of royalty and clergymen. Eventually, simpler forms of these seigneurial chairs were crafted without the armrests for common citizens – they were the sellette or scabelle chairs mentioned above. However, it was not until the Renaissance period that chairs truly became popular.
Typically, a familial coat of arms was carved into the chair backs, as is the case with ours. The carved backrest is wedged into the seat, while the legs are typically driven into the bottom of the seat and attached via pins or dowels. These chairs were usually decorative; comfort was not something to consider when producing an escabelle.
In Italy, sgabello were often used in hallways, up against the wall, while in France they were typically used as side chairs.
Regardless of what you call it, this 19th century Swiss escabelle chair would be a great addition to any style of home. Use this as a side chair, a fireside chair, or in an entryway against a wall.
CONDITION: More information coming soon…