I have been mad for Hunzinger since I stumbled upon one of his screwball chairs at my beloved Huntington, close to home in beautiful Pasadena.
I frankly had never seen anything so peculiar, what was he doing with all of that “knobby” work, the chair appeared articulated, I had an intense desire to fold up the Renaissance Revival monstosity, stow it under my arm, and take the thing home.
Instead I present this monstrous beauty from the Brooklyn Museum.
George Jacob Hunzinger
Ebonized wood, castors (always a sucker for castors),
approx. dimensions 43x26x28
The shredded yellow fabric is original, had been purple damask. Of course it was purple.
Another example of his wacky designs, this too looks like it should articulate, from the description, it doesn’t appear to. Some of Hunzinger’s designs do fold, perhaps it was an aesthetic he admired and pursued.
I love the machine made quality of the piece, although highly ornamented in the Renaissance Revival style, it still doesn’t hide the mechanical qualitiy of the chair. It calls to mind the current fad for Steam Punk, the hybrid expression of 19th century surface ornament with Industrial Revolution’s engineering. This chair shares that aesthetic, and I love it .
My Beloved dismisses it as a “failed experiment”, as in so often the case when it comes to taste, he is quite wrong.
I can’t resist sharing the first Hunzinger,snapped with my phone, as I mentioned it is held by the Huntington Museum.
walnut, gilding. brass, brocaded fabric