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Chiavari Chair and Tiffany Chair

04 July, 2020

The Origin / Birth of Chiavari Chairs

The Chiavari chair, pronounced “ke-a-va’re,” was created in Chiavari, Italy and named after the city of its origin. It was designed and built by cabinetmaker Giuseppe Gaetano Descalzi in 1807 after the president of the Economic Society of Chiavari requested that he rework some chairs for their facility. The original design was a balloon-backed cherrywood chair that was both light and solid, as well as elegant. Chiavari chairs gained popularity so quickly that they were gifted to Pope Leo XIII in 1892 and later used to furnish dining halls in Queen Victoria’s palace.

Appearance of Chiavari Chairs and The Different Names

A Chiavari chair is a light-weight chair that is distinguished by its signature bamboo-like joints that are carved into its frame. This iconic look has become synonymous with elegance, class, and sophistication. They may also be called “Tiffany Chairs.” While the name is often misspelled as “chivari” or “chavari,” the original name and correct spelling for this style is “chiavari.”

“Tiffany Chairs” and “Chiavari Chairs” are the same fashion of chair.  They feature a petite chair frame with carved spindles, no arms and a seat that tapers in the back, light weight, even though the names are different, the chairs are the same. You can find these chairs under many names such as: Chiavari Chair, Tiffany Chair, Chivari chair, Ballroom Chair or the Chiavarina Chair.

In the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, this style of chair is most commonly referred to as a Chiavari Chair. In other countries, especially Spanish speaking regions, people call this a Tiffany Chair. The use of the term Tiffany Chair is more prominent in countries such as: Mexico, Colombia, South Africa, Australia, The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Monaco and more.

Chiavari Chairs Development

Chiavari chairs rose to popularity after being used at John and Jackie Kennedy’s wedding reception in 1953 for their 900 guests. Since then, the reputation of the chair style only grew in the public eye with the assistance of modern media using them to seat celebrities at the Oscars and Golden Globe award ceremonies.

Nowadays Chiavari Chair is enjoyed the world over in various style weddings, parties, banquets, award ceremonies, upscale restaurants, and other special event celebrations.  

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