I’m sure we’d all like to think we know everything there is to know about Chesterfield sofas and Chesterfield chairs. You might be surprised, however, to discover that Chesterfield sofas have their own claims to fame, quite apart from the fact that they are exceptionally comfortable to sit on, oozing with class and pedigree, and built to last a lifetime. Chesterfield sofas are often in the news, unfortunately not always for the right reasons, and are frequently seen on the silver screen. If you’re still sceptical, have a look at these facts and you may have to re-think some of those pre-conceived ideas.
What’s the most famous sofa in the world?
Without question it would have to be Freud’s psychoanalysts’ couch. The question is, is it a Chesterfield sofa? Well, the juries’ out on that one. What we know for sure is that it’s a battered leather couch that’s seen more than its fair share of action over the years. Rumour has it, it is a Chesterfield sofa, but as it’s now a museum piece and covered in a multitude of rugs, I guess we’ll never know. The only facts we can be sure of is that the sofa started its life in Austria at Berggasse 19 in Vienna, and was exported to England in 1938 after Freud fled the Nazi annexation of Austria – the Anschuless. It’s remained at the same address ever since: 20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, which is now the Freud Museum. Is it a Chesterfield sofa lying underneath all those weather-beaten rugs? Who’s to say? Unless someone’s brave enough to skip over the barrier and have a sneaky peek, we’ll never know. What we do know is that Freud himself sat in a green leather Chesterfield tub chair, just out of sight of his patients, and that’s still there for everyone to see.
Chesterfield sofa involved in MPs expenses row
We’ve all heard about the infamous bill for repairing the family moat, but Tory MP Christopher Chope had other things on his mind when he submitted his own expenses claim. Apart from the £10,377 bill for the roof repair, and a £2,600 bill to buy and install a new bathroom, Mr Chope also submitted a bill for £881.25 to strip down and repair his family Chesterfield sofa. You might think that’s a bit steep: however, the MP was specific about the craftsman he used, because local craftsmen do a ‘better job’ for a ‘cheaper price’. He had the sofa transported from his second home in London, to his country house In Christchurch, Dorset, though the bill for the Chesterfield sofa, which was supposed to live in London, was sent to Dorset. He didn’t see what all the fuss was about, stating: “we had a Chesterfield which was unserviceable and what were we to do? Either we get rid of it, or we do something about it.” Needless to say, he had to pay the money back – reluctantly.
Chesterfield sofas on the silver screen
How often have you spotted a Chesterfield sofa on the big screen? You’d be surprised you know: the closer you look, the more you see. They really are ubiquitous. Here’s your starter for 10, and you can add your own spots as and when you see them.
The King’s Speech, A Handful of Dust, Howard’s End, Bride Wars, The Hunted, From Paris with Love, In a day, Ghosts of girlfriends past, Arthur and The Mask.