Archive | 21:57

The Little Art Deco Chair

22 Sep

My dear Aunty Nin saved hard, putting money aside every week from her wages from the stall in Swansea Market where she worked. She paid the money directly to the best furniture store in Swansea and eventually after a couple of years she had a new leather suite- a settee and two chairs, delivered to her tiny council house on a new Garden City-style council estate called Townhill. It was 1934 and the furniture was small, boxy and classically Art Deco, in brown leather with French-polished wooden trim. The suite was already middle aged when I remember bouncing up and down on it in the mid-‘60s [we weren’t supposed to bounce on the furniture of course] and another generation of family children bounced on it throughout the 1980’s.

 

Ink drawing: The Art Deco Chair.

 

When she became too frail to live at home and went into care when she was nearly 90, the little Art Deco suite came to me. It was by then badly ripped and the springs had gone and the wooden trim was scuffed and the stuffing was pushing its way out and various relatives thought it should be thrown out, but we bought some cheap cotton throws to cover it and saved hard for the next couple of years until we could afford to have it renovated. Eventually we had enough money and a local restoration company rebuilt it using traditional craft methods. It’s like a brand new suite but with the original design intact.

And now another generation of small children crawl over it when we’re not looking,

Are you bouncing on the settee?”

Silence.

I’m sure I heard someone bouncing on the settee.”

Little fingers point at the cat.

 

An ink drawing into my Daler-Rowney hardbound sketchbook, 150gms.

 

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