A Brief History on Chiavari Chairs

The history of the Chiavari Chair dates back to the ancient local tradition of the Liguria region, in the city of Chiavari. Chiavari is a small town of the Tigullio Gulf, that since the twelfth century, grew below the Genovese Republic. It is crossed by the river Rupinaro, which had a central role in the growth of local craftsmanship since its very beginning.

Towards the end of 1800, the continued growth of local civilisation created the conditions for the beginning of a craft cradle: the local artisans started a deep specialisation in woodworking as well as the interlacing of straw and wood.

The Descalzi family was born in these territories, where quarries and workshops of carpenters were widespread and young apprentices and masters were growing, including Gaetano Descalzi.

The Chiavari Chair, thanks to the genius of Mr. Descalzi, represented a revolution as its design pointed to function, not only form. The chairs of the time were very decorated, rich and bulky. Descalzi wanted a lightweight chair, basic but  that was also elastic and robust.

Descalzi worked by subtraction: lightening the structure, diminishing sections and used only local materials resulting in a compromise between lightness and strength that has been the hallmark of the Chiavari chair ever since.

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