I found it in the summer after my final year at uni; living in a student area there were lots of Landlords buying properties to do up and let to students, on the cheap, with conservation far from their minds.
The previous year I had started to collect furniture, through necessity for my bedroom. I have a Magpie personality as it is, so imagine my delight when one morning the streets and alley ways I had moved to were turned into second hand boutiques. Wardrobes, Chest of drawers, Tables, Mirrors, Bed heads, anything and everything you needed. It got to the point when it was not unusual for me to take detours just to look in skips.
You have to learn to be quick as you can never chance seeing something and thinking it will still be there the second time you pass. It is only because of my student-honed inhibitions that I came across this chair languishing in an alley far from my previous hunting ground. The fairs were not so good down that end; you would have to route through a lot of rubbish to find anything worth having. But there it was. I had to move two bags of student summer rubbish to retrieve it. It had no cushions and I did have to walk past it a few times to be sure of what I’d seen. My boyfriend had to help me lift it out of the alley way, thankfully he is very forgiving of my less than attractive hobbies.
The chair had several storing homes before it made it to my 3rd floor flat for restoration where it was sanded and re-upholstered, with second hand cushions and fabric cuttings. At first, visiting friends wouldn’t sit in the chair only referring to it as ‘the bin chair‘. Their initial prejudices eventually turning to disbelief that anyone would throw a chair like that away.
When I moved house again, a year or so later, I found that the chair was too large to pass through any of the hall doorways of my new flat. Luckily it was adopted by a friend who was more than willing to sit in it indefinitely.