The Tale of the Two Chippendales

Once upon a time (as all fairy tales begin) in 16th century London, lived a cabinetmaker by the name of Thomas Chippendale. This genius craftsman was inspired by a multitude of design eras and cultures. He went on to create a ribbon-back chair with a broad seat. He carved it ornately, as was the trend at the time. This chair became a worldwide phenomenon with it’s intricate detailing and trademark ball and claw foot. The folks at Walt Disney worked a parody on this chair when they created Chippendale – the chipmunk brothers. We shudder at the thought of these adorable siblings gnawing Thomas’ work to dust! It is this exact tale that gave rise to Tianu’s strict no chipmunk policy.

Let’s get closer to home now, to post-colonial Bombay – an industrial hub known for its charm and magnetism. Design in 1950s Bombay was heavily influenced by the British and it was in this era that a Parsi gentleman inspired by mid-century modern design that had taken over the furniture design world, set up Chippendale – a furniture store at Homy Mody street. His arm chairs, with minimal clean lines, were different and quite the hit – definitely forward thinking in design and exceptional in their craftsmanship.

Two Henry lounge chairs placed together showing the teakwood frame detail and upholstered in a sky blue fabric
Close up of the Henry lounge chair showing the teakwood leg and arm detail. Upholstered in a sky blue fabric
Settle lounge chair in a teak contruct with an upholstered seat and back in a black fabric
Close up of the Settle lounge chair showing the teakwood leg and arm detail. Upholstered in a black fabric

While researching this story, we entered ‘Chippendale’ into google image search. Found a completely different set of photos. We advise you don’t follow suit! Adios! Till next time, Team Tianu