Antique garden furnishings and framed antique printsSummerhill Gallery
Rare strap spring rocker marked Carre, Paris ca 1890
Summerhill Gallery
November 1, 2012 - 5:27 pm
Antiques : Furnishings : Garden : Furniture

Rare strap spring rocker marked Carre, Paris ca 1890Francois Carre


I let out one of those rare gasps of amazement when I found this.  It is not only a "Carre style chair", it is made by Carre and marked as such.  This style of garden chair is one of the most resilient, having maintained its popularity from the inception of the form, in the 1860's up to this day.  It received one of the earliest patents of its kind in the US in 1866; made out to the French firm of Lalance and Grosjean recently moved to New York (see Barbara Israel "Antique Garden Ornament" p 182).   I have given this an 1890 production date, but that could well be very conservative, it could be 20 years older.  I don't know that anyone is producing these spring metal chairs at the moment.  The latest versions came out of Mexico, but even they now qualify as vintage.  The style can be found, but rarely with all its elements intact.  Typically one or more of the steel bands will be broken, either through usage or rust, and they are very difficult and expensive to repair, assuming you can find someone to do it.

All of which makes this chair so much more interesting.  It appears to me to be physically stronger than more recent varieties, and is superbly hand-bent and hand-crafted in every respect.  Miraculously, there are no signs of rust.  It has been well loved and cared for.  It is that rarity of a garden item that is both a  work of sculpture and comfortable.  Interestingly enough it also takes the form of many of the earliest garden chairs from the mid nineteenth century of being more of a chaise longue  than an upright rocker.  To top it off the rocker versions of this style of chair are the rarest.