Monday, March 2, 2009

Chair #61

—Designer unknown

The ornate back seat of this beautiful chair reminds me of a European church steeple. 

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The church steeple is a symbol of the heavenly aspirations of pious medieval men.
   —The Encyclopedia Britannica
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Not just for heavenly aspirations, church steeples were also watchtowers. Stone built and strong, churches were once places of refuge in times of attack. Through time, the use of the tower evolved from being an item of defense to being an item of inspiration. With the soaring arches and uplifting, vast spaces, it was only logical that the towers would also incorporate this soaring look toward God. The steeple then became a way to place the cross at the highest point in the city as the church was often built on the highest point in the city. The steeples could be seen for miles around with the effect that the cross on the top would be seen in witness to the faith of the community.  Note the great cathedrals of Europe with their steeples which seem to reach to the heavens. And form follows function...the shape of the steeple was best for holding the weight of the heavy bell(s), which were used to announce worship times to the people.

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