LIMOUSIN – FRANCE
Only a few objects and furniture hold an aura capable of passing through time. This chestnut armchair is one of them and yet it almost disappeared… This iconic seat that Le Corbusier loved so much was on the verge of extinction. La Maison de Commerce brought it back to life. Story.
In the shade of flowering lime trees.
In the garden, under the lime tree where family meals end, in a bedroom by the sea, or in our grandparents’ winter garden, this armchair is part of the furniture according to the popular expression. Sold since the end of the 19th century, it was produced in large quantities in the middle of the 20th century (in about twenty family workshops in Haute Vienne). Popular thanks to the simplicity of its lines, its durability and the freedom of its forms, it is widely acclaimed for its incredible lightness and the magical powers attributed to it against insects. Which made it a hit in French country houses. However, the craftsmen producing this armchair have ran out and the last ones closed their workshops during the Covid pandemic without any other buyer. This know-how held by the strappers who work the chestnut tree in the Limousin (of which the tree is the symbol) was in danger. We have therefore made every effort to relaunch production by connecting craftsmen and thus perpetuate the manufacture of this armchair, an integral part of French heritage.
An endangered expertise as the tree grows in a copse, the chestnut harvest is seasonal and artisanal to collect the strips and poles which must then be placed in ovens to be softened. A necessary task to debark and modulate them easily. The slats of the seats, called splints, are produced by a specific and very old machine of which only a few remain in operation. Our work has made it possible to pass on this know-how. We are proud to have participated in the return of this armchair, capable of defying time and fashion, in one word an icon.