Think you know your Grossmans from your Eameses? Our furniture pub quiz will test your knowledge about your favourite designers, designs and design houses. Plus, with virtual quizzes taking place left right and centre during lockdown, you can test your friends and family too.
Furniture Pub Quiz Questions
Begin the Heal’s furniture pub quiz below and find the answers at the bottom of this page.
1. What is a credenza?
2. Approximately how many steps are involved in making a Wishbone Chair?
3. What object inspired Marcel Breuer’s iconic Wassily Chair?
4. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the Barcelona Chair in 1929 alongside who?
5. What nationality was Eero Saarinen?
6. What ancient civilisation is said to have created the first chair?
7. Which famous naturalist is said to have invented the office chair?
8. Arne Jacobsen designed the Egg and Swan Chairs for a hotel in which city?
9. Which design duo created the Soft Pad Lounge Chair? You might also recognise it as the chair used on Mastermind.
10. Yrjö Kukkapuro’s Karuselli Chair is named after the Finnish word for what?
11. Which model famously posed naked astride a copy of Arne Jacobsen’s Series 7 Chair? Hint: She also sat front and centre of the Profumo Affair.
12. What language does the term ‘chaise longue’ come from?
Furniture Pub Quiz Answers
Wondering how you’ve done? Find the answers below, along with a little more information if you want to know more.
1. A sideboard
That’s right; a credenza is the less commonly used name for a sideboard. Its name comes from the Italian words for belief and trust. This is because a credenza was historically used to hold food whilst it was being tasted for poison. The word originally described the act of tasting the food and was gradually passed onto the furniture.
Most of the 100 steps required to crafted Hans J. Wegner’s iconic chair are done by hand by Carl Hansen’s skilled craftspeople. The seat alone takes an hour to hand-weave and uses around 120 metres of paper cord.
Discover more about the iconic Wishbone Chair and how it’s made here.
3. The handlebars on his bicycle
Marcel Breuer’s 1925 design for the Wassily Chair was largely inspired by the lightness of his new bike’s frame. This led to his experimentation with tubular steel and the birth of a whole new design approach.
4. Lilly Reich
One of the artistic directors behind the German Pavilion at Barcelona’s International Exposition of 1929, Lilly Reich collaborated with Mies van der Rohe to design the iconic chair. Reich is often overlooked but is said to have made large contributions to the Barcelona Chair’s design.
The son of Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, Eero and his family migrated to the USA when he was 13. He became a naturalised American citizen 17 years later.
Discover more about the iconic designer here.
6. The Ancient Egyptians
According to modern historians, the Ancient Egyptians were the first to invent the chair over 5,000 years ago. Paintings that show chairs, alongside well-preserved chairs, have even been excavated from prominent tombs. They were typically a sign of wealth and were adorned with wood, ivory and ebony.
7. Charles Darwin
Despite being most renowned for his study of evolution, Charles Darwin is also said to have invented the modern office chair. The story goes that he added wheels to his desk chair so he could get to his specimens faster.
The two chairs were designed for the lobby areas of the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Arne Jacobsen was the architect behind the hotel and he designed it down to the finest detail. This included everything from the exterior façade to the stainless steel cutlery.
9. Charles & Ray Eames
Originally designed by the husband and wife design duo in 1969, the Soft Pad Lounge Chair remains remarkably contemporary today. The chair has taken centre stage in Mastermind since the show launched in 1972.
Find out more about the design duo here.
Originally designed in 1965, Kukkapuro’s seven-year-old daughter Isa gave the chair its playful name. Apparently, upon seeing the chair’s prototype, she exclaimed “This is like a carousel” and so the chair’s name was born.
11. Christine Keeler
This photograph was scandalous when first released, not least because Keeler was coerced into stripping for the photo. Taken by photographer Lewis Morley as publicity shots for a film, the picture was leaked to the Sunday Mirror. The chair was originally thought to be Arne Jacobsen’s Series 7 Chair. On closer inspection the handle hole and subtly different silhouette proved it wasn’t. Both the chair and the photograph now reside in the V&A’s archive.
The term ‘chaise longue’ is a literal translation for ‘long chair’. With origins in Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire, the modern chaise longue was popularised in France during the 16th century. During the Rococo era, an opulent chaise longue was a symbol of wealth and social status. Nobles would use them to rest on rather than retiring to the bedroom.
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