but, when it is remembered that the floors of the rooms in which they originally stood rejoiced in no " Best Brussels/' inviting "Axminster," or "Art Squares/' but were for the most part of stone, a satisfactory explanation presents itself. The seats, as I have said, were higher than in modern chairs, and the tables, for which these chairs were used, were almost invariably provided with sturdy under-framing, upon which the feet of those sitting at them could rest in comfort and in safety from the "chills" which would arise from contact with the cold stone. That the under-framing was taken advantage of in the way suggested is made perfectly evident by the extent to which it is worn away in the majority of the old tables which survive.
When the occupants of these chairs were not seated at table, it seems beyond question that foot stools were made use of; a large number of those handy little accessories, dating from that time, are still in existence.
However pleasing the "Jacobean" chair may be to the eye—and many of them unquestionably are pleasing—few, if any, of them convey a very strong impression of comfort to the body which aches for repose; on that account, if for no other reason, they would hardly appeal to the modern young couple about to furnish, unless some modification or addition in the direction of comfort were made. Whether the popular impression is right that the race of old was actually made of sterner stuff than their present degenerate descendants, I will not discuss, but, at all events, there seems to have been small call during the earlier part of the seventeenth century for the over-done, puffy, milliner's-shop style of upholstery, with its flounces and furbelows, which constitutes a refuge in many modern homes for tired nature—and dust. Loose cushions were, undoubtedly, employed to palliate the relentlessness of these old seats, and endow them with some measure of comfort, but such additions came as an afterthought, and played no part in the designer's original scheme.
c°ri!kr from mr. robert sauber's dining-room. showing "jacobean"
r hairs, " bread-and-cheese ** cupboard, and -gate-leg" table
Reference in Text. See pages 66, 67
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