Submitted by Furniture Professor
See if you can pass this furniture history exam?
- True or False: The first record of furniture being used dates back almost 1,000,000 years. A recent archeological discovery of hominids in southeast Europe put the date of their existence back hundreds of thousands of years earlier than previously thought. The furniture that was discovered was simply a large rock. The unmistakable impression of two big butt cheeks shows that this rock was used by an overweight middle age male.
False. There is nothing else to say about this. If you thought that the answer to this question was true, hire a designer to redo your home.
- True or False: There are no new furniture designs. Every chair has a seat, two to four legs and, usually a back. Generally, if there is no back it is a stool. Every table has three, four or five legs and a flat top. Every case piece is a box on legs. I like to deal in absolutes and I am absolutely sure that what I am saying is correct.
True. Like songs, there will always be variations mixing and remixing of the basic elements but there will always be similarities to what came before.
- True or False: In the furniture world, the debate rages about whom the Chippendale style was named after. Many scholars hold that it was designed and named for two cute little chipmunks. I firmly believe that the group was named after a bandy legged male stripper from the near south side of Chicago. The story goes that Fred Chippendale had very skinny, straight, shapeless legs. One night, a furniture designer stumbled into the club where Fred worked. The designer had his wife with him and they were both a little tipsy. Between sets, the couple struck up a friendship with the exotic dancer and in their inebriated state, they decided to style a collection of furniture after Fred and they named it Chippendale in his honor.
False. Thomas Chippendale was born in Otley , England in 1718. He died in 1779. According to Wikipedia, he came from a long line of woodworkers. He specialized in English Roccoco and Neoclassical designs, which reflected the tastes of the mid-Georgian period in England. In 1759, he published his book, The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director.
- True or False: Most people are not aware that Queen Anne was very bow legged. Her secret lover was trying to find a way to show his love for her and he got the idea to design a collection of furniture to honor the queen. When Anne saw the new collection, she was outraged. Her lover had put bowed legs on the chairs, the table and the server. She had him beheaded. Only his misguided tribute to the love of his life lives on.
False. According to “Furniture Facts The 21st Century Edition”, the Queen Anne period had its beginnings in the opening years of the 18th Century. The style evolved from William and Mary furniture with heavy influence from Dutch styles of the time. Some of the innovations from this style include the highboy, Windsor chairs and overstuffing upholstery. Common traits of Queen Anne furniture include simple lines and carvings, the cabriolet leg and the use of walnut. Queen Anne chairs were built to conform to the human body as opposed to the stiffness of earlier designs.
- True or False: A farmer outside of LaCrosse, Wisconsin had to get up at four in the morning everyday to milk his cows. He would fall asleep halfway through the milking of his herd and the cows were getting more than a little sore. The farmer thought and he thought for a way to remedy the situation. Finally, it came to him. He cut off all the stool legs and mounted one of the legs dead center in the bottom of the seat. When he tried the stool out, he wobbled quite a bit but he soon got the hang of it. From that day on he never fell sleep milking the herd because if he did, he would tip over and wake up. The story of the invention of the milking stool was shared with us by our theater appreciation professor at Wisconsin State University – LaCrosse, now University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse.
True. Except for the details. The one legged milking stool was invented for the reasons stated.
If you got any of the answers correct, you pass the course with an A. If you guessed incorrectly on question one, I’m available for private tutoring. :)