A bizarre chair that resembled a rabbit
The woman and I had the same thought at the same time. “It looks like a rabbit,” she said. And she was right.
We were staring at a strange and unconventional lounge chair with thick wooden ears that mimicked rabbit ears. The seat and back of the chair were draped with an oversized covering that looked to be rabbit fur. It had to be fake, though, or it came from a monstrously big animal.
“It looks uncomfortable,” said her male companion, whom I assumed was her husband. This time, he was right. We both examined the chair as best we could from afar – it had been placed in a roped-off area – but we couldn’t see any cushioning beneath the rabbit fur. So I figured that once you sat in the chair, you’d feel the hard, rough and uneven wood of the seat.
The chair had caught each of our eyes instantly, and forced us to stop and take a long look. Its location was slightly away from the main floor, surrounded by antique tables and chairs waiting for an upcoming high-end auction. The chair appearead rustic, unsophisticated and out of place among the antique pieces in both its corralled area and on the rest of the auction floor.
It was so different that it was fascinating, and I suspect that it was a one-of-a-kind piece made by an artist or designer for either himself/herself or a client with a discerning eye. This was not a chair you’d make or sell to just anybody.
It was made of wood that had been allowed to retain its natural shape: The flat right arm – which could easily hold a beverage of some sort – reminded me of natural wood tabletops I’d seen often at craft shows. The big ears were obviously the original curved shape of the wood. This artist had let the wood speak for itself.
I had come across furniture upholstered in animal print but had seen nothing like this rabbit chair at auction before.
I could find no other chair like it on the web, but I did find one with similar characteristics. It was a branches and faux fur chair that I first saw on the Anthropologie website and then on the website of the maker, Italian designer Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba. It was described by Anthropologie as one of a kind, and it was draped in white sheep’s wool. The chair – with branches that seemed to crisscross at untidy angles – was selling for $9,800. It looked even more uncomfortable than the rabbit chair.
I also came across a site called Fur in the Interior that featured photos of fur chairs and blankets. It was not clear, though, if the furniture was for real or if these were stock photos offering ideas on using fur in the home.
I found two leather chairs on another site that looked normal, except for the wooden rabbit ears and deer antlers protruding from the edge of their backs. The chairs were created by London designer Merve Kahraman to “create an animalistic feeling on the user.”