Chesterfield Sofa History

So, where did the word ‘Chesterfield’, in relation to the iconic style of furniture we all know and love, actually come from? Many believe it’s an adopted turn of phrase, stemming back to the turn of the century when Chesterfield started to become the word used to describe a regular sofa in Canada and some parts of America.

Over here in England, however, a davenport with arms and back of the same height in buttoned leather may also referred to as a Chesterfield sofa. While some believe the term is adopted, others say that the fourth earl of Chesterfield – Philip Stanhope (1764-1773) was honoured by the commissioning of a piece of fine furniture, in this case a leather Chesterfield.

Earl of Chesterfield

Elsewhere, others say ‘Chesterfield’ originally referred to the style of buttoning of the leather, shape of the sofa back, and even the height of the seat.

Made by proud craftsmen for proud customers, the Chesterfield remains as iconic today as it was hundreds of years ago, and whatever the reason behind the name, a leather Chesterfield by any other name would today seem somewhat strange.

Chesterfield Sofa

Below, one of our former apprentices Scott takes you through the early stages of Chesterfield manufacture in our busy workshop. Take a look here:

Keep your eyes peeled on the Distinctive Chesterfields blog, as we’ll be bringing you some more videos taken in our workshop very soon.

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