A retro throne for newborn wrangling

I’ve just bought myself a little local design icon on eBay.  It could be described as the poor man’s Eames chair – the sculptural wooden arms give structure to deeply cushioned curves of the seat, and I think it’s just splendid.  Beautiful quality at a bargain price.  But you don’t see this chair in every interior magazine you come across, it’s more of a quiet achiever.

A comfy throne for soothing the new wee person

 Fred Lowen, a German immigrant to Australia (actually he was interred and transported to Australia following the war, but then reclassified as a ‘friendly’ enemy alien – and later awarded an Order of Australia medal), designed the T1 armchair in 1968 and it won the 1970 Dunhill Design Award at the Cologne Furniture Fair. 

He designed various permutations of it over the following years, and the Tessa furniture company is still producing the similar T21 today, which I grew up with in my childhood home.  There’s plenty of them around but I had to have the late 60’s button-back design on the swivel base.  I found some in far-flung locations where the delivery cost exceeded the purchase price, but that didn’t suit the budget or lofty ideals to reuse and reduce carbon footprint.

The chair is the sole new addition for the new baby’s room (except for the baby).  I’m envisaging the green velour contours will ease the pain of long nights holding a tiny crying newborn.  Worth a shot.  And after the baby has graduated from newborn behaviours,  I’ll treat it to a fresh upholstery job. The chair, not the baby.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Patrick And Jodi on July 12, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Stumbled upon this looking for Tessa chair photos. We have a Tessa t 21 suite with the 3 seated and 2 swivel armchairs. My wife prefers e button back like yours but I like the 70’s “executive” look with the rolled head cushion and cloth armrests. Such a comfortable and stylish design. We are expecting our 2nd son, so we are off to Tessa tomorrow to get prices on reupholstering them, which is w great service they offer (albeit expensive) good chairs to slouch in while breast feeding, and unlike most modern lounges they have head support,
    Patrick and Jodi


    • I find once I’ve sunk into our cosy green velvet number, I can happily fall asleep there with the little one slumbering on my chest. The hardest thing is getting out of the chair without waking the baby… Still searching for a matching footrest to complete the comfort equation, but they seem thin on the ground.


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