What’s the Origin of the Chesterfield Sofa?

17th March 2014

If you’ve considered buying a chesterfield sofa – a real piece of furniture history – you may have wondered about the origin of this distinctive style of couch. Well, wonder no more, as we’re bringing you an account detailing the proposed origins of this unique piece of furniture, which has graced gentleman’s clubs and stately homes in England for centuries.

So, how did the word ‘Chesterfield’ (in relation to the sofa) actually come from? Many believe it’s an adopted turn of phrase, dating back to the turn of the century when Chesterfield started to become the word used to describe a regular sofa in Canada, as well as some parts of the US.

Earl of Chesterfield

Here in England, however (also home to our West Yorkshire show room), 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 (1964-1773) was honoured by the commissioning of a piece of fine furniture, in this case a leather Chesterfield.

Others believe the word ‘chesterfield’ referred originally to the style of buttoning of the leather, along with the 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.

What do you think? Do you have any more ideas as to where the chesterfield got its name?


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Comfy Sofa Limited FRN: 670602 trading as Distinctive Chesterfields are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We are a credit broker not a lender – credit is subject to status and affordability, and is provided by Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC. Terms & Conditions Apply.

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