Russian folk art chair

Russian folk art chair in carved oak, 1870s, designed by Vasily Petrovich Shutov (c.1826-87)

This carved wooden chair is after a model by Vasili Petrovich Shutov, a St. Petersburg craftsman and instructor at the city’s Central School of Technical Drawing. The chair was first presented to the public at the All-Russian Manufacturing Exhibition at St. Petersburg in 1870. Known as the Shutov chair and informally as ‘Bow, Axe, and Mittens’, it takes the form of a horse’s yoke, with arms in the form of axes and coachman’s gloves resting on the back of the seat. The chair back carries a legend in Cyrillic that translates as ‘the slower you go, the further you get’. The design embodied what was understood as an authentic Russian style and became very popular, such that numerous copies were made by other craftsmen.

Sign up to our newsletter