Chiavari Chairs


The history of the Chiavari Chair dates back to ancient local tradition of the Liguria region, specifically in the city of Chiavari. Chiavari is a small town of the Tigullio Gulf since the twelfth century, grew below the Genovese Republic. Chiavari is crossed by the river Rupinaro, which had a central role in the growth of the local craftsmanship since its very beginning.

In the Middle Ages the people outside the city walls were always devoted to crafts such as masons, knife-grinders, cobblers and carpenters as they were in contact with the sources of supply of materials.

Towards the end of 1800, the continued growth of local civilisation created the conditions for the beginning of a craft cradle: the local artisans started a deep specialisation in woodworking and interlacing of the straw and the wood in general.


The Descalzi family was born in these territories, where quarries and workshops of carpenters were widespread and young apprentices and masters were growing, including Gaetano Descalzi.

The Chiavari Chair, thanks to the genius of Mr. Descalzi, represented a revolution soon as its design pointed to the function, not the form. The chairs of the time in fact were very decorated, rich and bulky. Descalzi wanted a lightweight chair, basic but also elastic and robust.

Descalzi worked by subtraction: lightened structure, diminished sections and used only local materials resulting in a compromise between lightness and strength that decreed the success right away. Nowadays, this territory is still a center of deep knowledge of the processes and models, in respect of the original patented designs.

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