I was at an estate sale in Northern Virginia a few years ago and walked past a lady who was admiring a couple of antique chairs and I overheard her say to her husband, “Wow, people must have been really short at that time. Look at how low those chairs are.” And she was right in one respect; the chairs had short legs and no arms. However, she was wrong on the reason for the height of the chairs because what she was admiring were actually a pair of Victorian slipper chairs.
Antique slipper chairs were made from about 1940 – 1900 in a few different styles including Rococo, Renaissance Revival, Queen Anne and Victorian. Normally they were made of various woods including mahogany and cherry and had upholstered seats and backs. However come imported chairs from Europe were made of other materials including black lacquer. Slipper chairs were about 15 inches from the floor and thus had short legs and were mainly used in a ladies bedroom.
Ladies of the Victorian era wore many clothes and in most cases needed a lot of help getting dressed. Remember that this was the era of laced corsets as well as camisoles and petticoats. So after putting on all that clothing, they needed even more help donning their long stockings and shoes. Thus, the slipper chair was born; a comfortable chair with short legs that a woman could use to sit and put on her stockings and slippers.
What is a dime worth to you? In most cases a dime as we know is worth ten cents. It is one tenth of an American dollar or ten American pennies. In rare cases, a dime may be worth a little more if it is unique or in some cases a dime can be worth a lot more depending on condition and rarity. Such was the case this past week when a single dime sold at auction for more than $1.84 million.
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Nowadays, dressing is a little different; gone are the days of the corset and petticoats . . . and most women dress in a lot less clothes. However slipper chairs can still be very useful and many people have them not only in the bedroom, but in other rooms of the house as well. Due to their diminutive stature and size, they can be used for seating in tight or small spaces. The only place that they are probably not useful is as a dining chair because their height makes them too short for traditional tables and libraries because I have found them uncomfortable to read in.
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