Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My treasure

One of the many joys of our "grand day out" yesterday was a visit to a shop owned by an African-born woman, who travels there a couple times a year and brings back wonderful art. We hadn't been shopping in this town for many years, but we walked in and were greeted as if by a family member. "Of course" she remembered us, she said. I bought this beautiful, beautiful, amazingly comfortable, hand-carved chair. She meets the people in Africa who create the work she sells and she told us that this was made from mahogany, in Guinea, by a "handsome, very black man, with two wives and many children." Isn't it just the best?! It comes in two pieces and you can see how even the back has lovely carving on it.

My daughter bought a gorgeous bowl in shades of green and blue, and a three-tiered basket. The owner was so delighted to see us again that she gave my daughter her choice of two animal napkin rings, and me a banana leaf picture.

Here are two views of how the chair fits into the living room. As you see, it is a very simple, rather "minimal" room. We rarely have more than two people visiting at a time so there are just enough places to sit. Last evening some friends dropped by, and I got to sit in the new chair, though each of them tried it out and pronounced it beautiful and very comfortable.


  1. About two years ago there was an international chair exhibition not far away from here. And I could sit on an African chair which was very comfortable and had exact the same form as yours....but it was made just of black and blank wood without any ornaments. So I am sure, you are enjoying yours!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous, Nan! I have always loved buying hand crafted objects from overseas - as long as they are 'Fair Trade' of course. I like to think that the artist gained as much pleasure making the object as I do from having it in my home. I tend to buy a lot of things from India and the Middle-East, but I do have quite a few African things as well. I always try to make sure that any wood used is harvested from sustainable forests. I watched a programme a few days ago about Borneo, and how intensive logging is reducing the Orang Utan's habitat to dangerously low levels. Very sad. Enjoy your beautiful chair!

  3. A grand find on your grand day out - what a beautiful conversation piece you found for your room! And is that a basket of firewood serving as a doorstop? Such a cute idea!

  4. Looks like you made out well from your day out! As I scrolled down and saw the picture of your dog, I keep visualizing the last picture with him sitting in the chair.

    Funny thought, but pretty chair!

  5. That's amazing, Barbara. You know, I find its comfort a bit like an Adirondack chair. The way the back fits is just perfect.

    Lesley, that's wonderful. One of the items in the store was a carving that took one man five years to do. Awfully sad about Borneo.

    Alison, thanks. The basket actually holds catalogues. :<)

    Katie, thanks for stopping by. I'd love to see Ben try sitting there. He wouldn't last a minute. Not soft enough for him. :<) I love your thought.

  6. Wonderful chair - a treasure indeed!

  7. Thanks, Kris. I'm so happy with it.

  8. That chair is just beautiful! It really fits into your living room! I love giraffes! Don't you love those type of shops where they 'remember' you, even if perhaps they don't!
    Do show us your banana leaf picture, please.

  9. It's a beautiful chair! The carvings are gorgeous. What a fun outing with your daughter.

  10. Dear Nan,
    Thank you so much for commenting and telling me of an excellent "tutorial" on how to change the picture on our blog headers! Thank you so much! I'll be going to your link and looking.

    Sorry to be late in saying thank you. I've fallen behind on checking the mail box, which notifies me of new comments.

    Isn't "Pretty Blog Land" wonderful? We ask and some nice person comes along and shares their info with us.

    Thanks again,

  11. I love that chair. It is a beauty!It is a treasure to have an item that was hand crafted!


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