October 21, 2010

High Back, High Brow

What’s in a chair back?

I’ve been reading a bit of Taschen’s book 1000 Chairs. The authors talk about chairs as status symbols of who we are or who we aspire to be. They put their finger on something when they discuss back heights: the higher the back, the more important the owner. And as the dedicated HighBack.net site claims, “High back chairs command more respect and admiration than low back chairs.” I guess I’ve never seen a king enthroned on a stool.

Look at two classic Eames aluminum chairs: Management, and Executive. The back height alone suggests the stature of the owner.

This vinyl high back from Chromcraft had a nice tuck-and-roll texture and wood laminate on the base. Looks straight out of some ’70s car dealership. $7.99 to look like a heavy hitter.

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