The Chairpedia: The old Spanish court and person responsible for keeping vigilance of the chair

The protocol of the Spanish court came to be, in the Golden Age, to excesses only surpassed in the Vienna of Franz Joseph. An honored Spanish lady should always keep her feet hidden. And the exigencies of the court etiquette at this point reached such extremes that no one could reference the feet of the queen, under penalty of incurring serious contempt. Perhaps we could find here the influence of the Semitic tradition. And the truth is that our kings lived as subject to the rules of the court as could be the High Priest to the rules of worship. Philip III, for...

The Chairpedia: The chairs of geniuses

Salvador Dalí wore a 41; but when he painted, to stimulate his creativeness, he wore smaller shoes, specifically size 38. The discomfort activated ingenuity. In his Weimar home, Goethe wrote while sitting on a wooden trestle, like the “pommel horses” used by athletes in the Olympics. Rilke wrote standing up, at a high desk, also recited standing up and only sat to read. And in the Achilleion – the palace that Sisi built in Corfu – the office that Kaiser Wilhelm II used is preserved, with a kind of saddle where he sat to write.

The Chairpedia: Take two seats

Charles de Morny was a famous French politician and banker, related to all of the aristocracy (he was the half-brother of Napoleon III). To explain his origins, he cynically said: “In my family we are bastards from parents to children. I am the great-grandson of a king, grandson of a bishop, son of a queen and brother of an emperor”. He did honor the descendants of the family, leaving numerous bastards: some well checked and others attributed by legend, such as Sarah Bernhardt. He inspired the character Monsieur Marsy in the novel His Excellency Eugene Rougon by...

The Chairpedia: A chair for a hat

One of the rules of Hispanic etiquette, when you “capitulate” visits, was to show great admiration for the hat of the visitor. Arabs and Jews that inhabit the branches of our family tree could dutifully explain the reasons for this Eastern custom. “The courtesy that is paid to the hat of a particular gentleman - observes the great traveler Richard Ford – is remarkable, especially among the good provincial people: it is not permitted to have it in the hand or leave it on the floor. The friendly owner of the house excels in this crucial rite of hospitality, takes...

The Chairpedia: The Ritz Hotel's chairs and bathtubs

Thanks to Edward VII, who had the habit of bathing in the company of his friends, hotel bathtubs became more comfortable. In view of complaints of discomfort of the bathtubs from the voluminous prince, Caesar Ritz decided to make them wider and more comfortable. The brilliant Ritz had solutions for everything. And just like how he commissioned the large bathtubs, he ordered the manufacturing of small furniture, when he dealt with more intimate spaces. Like this he decorated the Rue Cambon bar in his luxurious Place Vendome hotel in Paris. As the space was...