11 Sep A Wing On A Prayer
Meet one of our favourite pieces at Arse Antiques. She’s an early 20th century prayer chair stepping out in a 21st century restyle. We have to thank Matthew Williamson for her outfit; the flamboyant design of flamingoes and exotic flowers is daringly beautiful. Her rosewood legs have then been polished by our own fair hands to show off gentle curves to the best. She now sits as the showpiece in a drawing room in Surrey.
But the high life is new to this chic seat. We found her hidden away in a Georgian rectory in West London. Having been invited to cherry pick antiques before a house clearance, she came into our lives on the back of a truck with dusty picture frames and old books for company.
Beautiful then, she wasn’t. In a dour threadbare hessian-like number, she looked like she wanted to remain hidden away. Structurally she was a bit compromised also. If this were Bake Off, she’d certainly be described as having ‘a soggy bottom’.
The drab garb we found her in
Leaving us for the upholster’s studio
We stripped her down and found this blue fabric below
Feeling rather naked
But at Arse Antiques we weren’t put off, and do you know why? Cos these sort of pieces don’t come around very often. Prayer chairs are not run of the mill things. And at Arse Antiques we are all about sourcing the unusual, so the challenge to do her up was an exciting one.
A prayer chair is, just as it’s name suggests, a chair for praying on. It’s low to the ground and is designed to be knelt upon facing its back to worship in comfort. In this more secular world, they are often dismissed as irrelevant and discarded without care. But at Arse Antiques, we are not the hasty types. We love looking for a chance to repurpose old objects. This was a metamorphosis job. Listen again to the description ‘it’s low to the ground’ with a padded back, doesn’t that sound like something that would suit a particular person? It did to us. A perfect child’s chair.
Resurrecting our new treasure involved a team of professionals. First she was sent to our upholster who repaired her frame and injected fillers in her bottom. Then she was referred to an interior designer friend who helped with the fabric choice receiving the personal consultation from Matthew Williamson. Then we waxed her legs.
Our ugly duckling was transformed into a beautiful… flamingo. And boasting vital statics of 90cm(h), 45cm(w) and weighing in at 6kg, she’s the pin up star of our collection.
When we said she’s in a drawing room in Surrey, we neglected to mention that it’s our drawing room. We haven’t wanted to let this one go. You know, it’s hard to say goodbye to the ones you love. But reluctantly, we have now finished her look with one accessory – a price tag round her right ankle. She deserves a stylish home; please be in touch if you have one of those.