Mõõtuandev trükis talutoolidest / Notable publication about country chairs


  • Madis Rennu




The exhibition “Four Feet on the Ground. The Estonian Country Chair” was opened in the gallery of the Estonian National Museum on 23 February 2023. The exhibition’s catalogue, titled “Estonian Country Chairs”, was presented by the Estonian National Museum’s wood conservators Mariliis Vaks and Indrek Tirrul, and the exhibition’s curator Liisi Jääts on 1 March. The voluminous and richly illustrated book helps to give the enthusiast a closer look at the background of the making and use of our simpler farmhouse furniture. The more than 70 chairs presented in the book come mainly from the collections of the Estonian National Museum, which houses the largest collection of country chairs in Estonia. The described chairs date from the late 18th century until the 1940s, when home-made items began to be largely replaced by factory furniture. Country chairs were made locally and from the most suitable material, which is why many of the museum pieces are still in good condition a hundred or even two hundred years later. The catalogue also features stories of the more prominent regional chair makers, such as those behind the manufacture of round-backed resort chairs in Saaremaa, which began around the year 1880.

The book has become well known among ethnography and crafts enthusiasts, both for its tasteful and measured design, including its inspiring freehand drawings, and for the richness of its content, and the diversity of objects, details and manufacturing techniques presented. In addition, the precisely inch-thick binding with its sturdy paperback covers can be used as a workbench support, a carpenter’s square, and perhaps occasionally even as a measuring tool.


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