Blacker House Dining Room Chairs

The Blacker House in Pasadena CA was one of the grandest achievements of architect/designers Greene and Greene. The dining room chairs (custom made for that site only, 1907-1909) featured their typical motifs: "cloud lift" steps in the form, parallelogram posts and legs in cross-section, strongly rounded edges, inlays left proud of the surface for more tactile interest, implied exposed joinery, and sculptural sweeps. Note also the magnificent back splat with its stepped carved curves mimicked by the vine-like pewter inlays. This back splat panel has a gentle compound curvature: curving around the sitter in plan view and away from the sitter in side elevation.

The shaped inlays are of pearl, pewter. silver, oak, and ebony. Unfortunately, while the Greene brothers are experiencing a well-deserved revival, the genius of their exceptional designs is being lost due to superficially similar knock-offs. Because of the sculptural sweeps and parallelogram cross-sections, accurate reproductions require a great deal of skilled handwork with curved plane and/or spokeshave. The inlays are also often attempted incorrectly. Done properly a Greene and Greene inlay is minutely proud of (higher than) the surrounding wood but with smooth transition and not a ridge or step. I make every effort to respect and follow the brilliance of the original designs.

Dimensions: 26w x 42h x 19d arm chair
19w x 41h x 17d side chair

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Made in Medford, MA

By Paula Garbarino Custom Furniture


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