I don’t have many prized possessions. In the event of a fire, I’d grab all the living things in the house (three, at present count) and then I’d go back for my laptop if I had time (which is also why I have cloud backup for as much of my data as possible).
If I had a little more time, though, I’d grab these chairs.
Back in the 1990s I was watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation titled “Devil’s Due.” There’s a trial scene in which Commander Data is presiding over a case of planetary ownership, and he’s sitting in a chair very much like these.
I loved that chair. I decided if I ever had the money I’d get one of them made.
Enter Julie and Bill.
Julie was a co-worker and her fiancé (now husband) Bill was getting into woodworking. I showed him the episode and asked if it was doable. He was excited—it would be a challenge. And who doesn’t like a challenge? So I sent him away with a check and the videotape of the episode, and he got to work.
Later, Julie found a book on architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh that contained photos of his furniture design work—including a picture of a tearoom somewhere in Scotland with chairs very much like these. (This chair, as it turns out.) I wanted arms for my chairs, so that was a deviation from the original design.
In the end, Bill did a phenomenal job. They periodically borrow the chairs to display them when they attend fairs and sales (Best of Missouri Market at the Missouri Botanical Garden, for example), so if you live in St. Louis you might even get a chance to give one a test sit.
Also, you might have noticed this design in other films and TV shows besides Star Trek. Most recently, they popped up in an episode of Doctor Who….