Cassina Midway Gardens Chairs on eBay

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Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

That is not a beautiful chair. It looks like its arms are akimbo.

DavidC
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »

The seat proportion looks way to big for the rest of the design.


David

DRN
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Post by DRN »

Steinerag has an image with the 1914 rendering:
http://www.steinerag.com/flw/Artifact%2 ... assina1986

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I have not seen a plan view drawing of this chair; that document, if it exists, might verify that the Cassina production is a faithful rendering of Wright's intention. The trapezoidal seat is the surprise; in the drawing, the low front leg stretcher crosses in front of the rear legs, implying that the front legs are further apart than the rear ones, and not the other way around, as in the Cassina example.

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

If one reads the left-hand elevation drawing of the chair as a rear view, the anomalies are (mostly) resolved.

Image


From "The Wright Style," Carla Lind, 1992:

Image

JimM
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Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

Chair, eh.... but I'd like to get a hold of that table lamp...always loved it.

Sequoia
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Post by Sequoia »

Shipping from Ft. Wayne, Fascinating

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Hmm. Can anyone parse the difference between the two listings ? Are there two chairs for sale ?

I wonder what Cassina did to reinforce the joinery in the chair. There are neither diagonals nor any large-area connections, anywhere in the design.

SDR

JChoate
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Post by JChoate »

SDR, where do you think it would be weak? Where would reinforcing be needed?

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Sequoia wrote:Shipping from Ft. Wayne, Fascinating
From what I understand, Frank Lloyd Wright may have putted a golf ball underneath each of these chairs.


David

jmcnally
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Post by jmcnally »

Mr. Herber from the Haynes Residence is selling these. They are listed as post-1950.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

James, the live loads on a chair are similar to those imposed on a building structure -- at least in Earthquake Country ! Shear forces must be resisted in both instances.

Chairs of this kind are typically joined -- glued together -- with loose dowels or by means of cylindrical turned ends to the narrowest "sticks," fitted to bores in the mating parts. The cumulative resistance to shear or bending of these joints might be considerable -- but the live loads imposed on a chair are unique and unpredictable. Furniture made for the hospitality industry must be particularly well-constructed, as you can imagine.

A chair like this one typically has a seat thick enough to accept a turned and tapered leg end through its thickness; this is a joint capable of considerable resistance to bending. Alternatively, the seat may have an abbreviated apron beneath the seat, to which front and real legs can be attached with multiple dowels -- another useful shear-resisting strategy.

Wright's chair has neither of these features. It has only a number of single-dowel joints which, each taken alone, has poor resistance to bending forces. This is not a chair that the sitter should lean back on -- much less tipping it back on two legs ! Looking at this chair, imagine sitting in it and twisting your body sharply left or right. What is there to resist that force on the joints of the chair ?

It is a shame that Mr Wright did not employ his delightful 30- and 45-degree angular geometries in the service of furniture structure. It seems (almost) never to have occurred to him. Only when plywood came on the scene could he count on his materials to provide automatic and built-in shear resistance -- "continuity," he would have called it ?

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

JimM, Joel Silver has one of those lamps. I think it must be an original, though the lamp has been reproduced. Why there are not a slew of original bits and pieces of Midway, I do not know. More of it should have survived.

It's kind of slick. The horizontal arm that holds the light fixture slides up and down the vertical post, held in place by the weight of the fixture itself.

DRN
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

Can anyone parse the difference between the two listings ? Are there two chairs for sale ?
There are two separate chairs available for sale...the photos are similar, but not identical...of particular note, one chair has its manufacturer's tag tied to the center upright.
As to the age, there is a detail photo which shows the manufacturer's mark and FLLW FNDN copyright indicating the chairs were made in or after 1986.

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