Chesterfield – Tuxedo, what’s the difference?

Is there a difference between a Chesterfield sofa and a Tuxedo?

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Often the two are confused. But, the luxurious Chesterfield sofa is usually noted by its beefy rolled arm that sometimes curves out from the sofa. Like the Tuxedo it has the same arm and back height. The Tuxedo’s straight arm is perpendicular to the floor, and it is usually, but not always a little cleaner, a little slimmer. Both are known for their button tufted backs.

The lore of the Chesterfield is that it was invented when the fourth Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Stanhope (1694-1773), commissioned a similar sofa in the mid-18th century. The fullness of the sofa, the labor intensive tufting suggested to anyone that saw the Chesterfield that it was only for the upper classes. So popular among the Lords of England it became standard in London’s elite gentleman’s clubs.

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The Tuxedo appeared in the 20th century at about the time of the Great Gatsby. It takes its name from the village of Tuxedo Park in upstate New York, yes, the same place that inspired the formal suit that once was de rigueur for banquets and still appears at the Oscars each year. Notable residents of upscale Tuxedo Park included Emily Post, the grand dame of good manners. Its clean lines and simple shape, proclaimed that modernism was on the way.

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How big was the Ponderosa?

Mighty big.

It was 640,000 acres, a thousand-square mile, as wide as the cities of Reno, Carson and Virginia City, a ranch on the northern shore of Lake Tahoe, high in the Sierra Nevadas, home to the Cartwright family.

There was a ranch smack dab in the center. It needed a sofa big enough for Hoss Cartwright, a place for Little Joe to court lovely ladies, and Ben to wonder whatever happened to Hop Sing, was that Zorro, and why did Adam leave home? *
(Answers below)

Hidden high in the mountains and at home on the range, big enough for the Ponderosa, that’s what Traditions Home thinks of Hancock and Moore’s Buttoncraft sofa.

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Answers:

Adam Cartwright, aka Pernell Roberts, became a doctor on Trapper John, M.D.

Hop Sing, aka World War II veteran, actor Victor Sen Yung, continued to cook for the Cartwights for all 14 seasons of the show. Afterwards, he created his own cookbook called The Great Wok Cookbook in 1974.

Will Cartwright, aka Guy Williams, as Ben’s nephew, replaced Adam on his departure in 1964.  Guy Williams had previously played Zorro in the Walt Disney series of the same name.

P.S. did you wonder?

The show’s name Bonanza, and the title of its theme song, was inspired by the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode, a silver “bonanza” under nearby Mt. Davidson. The source of Ben Cartwright’s fortune is never fully explained in the show.

The time frame of the show is during and after the Civil War. In one episode, Little Joe courts the daughter of Judge Terry, a confederate sympathizer, hoping to become governor and influence Nevada on the question of Statehood. Ben responds with the memorable quote, “You will not bring the Civil War into my house!”

Ponderosa is a tall slender pine tree. In at least one episode, the Cartwrights get a big timber contract.

A chair is still a chair

As I work most days, a chair is the place I spend most of my time thinking up silly stories. It is the place for me where thought becomes reality.

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Amato desk chair by Hancock & Moore

 

Since Socrates first wrestled with the question of what is a chair, philosophers have talked and nothing changes. On the other hand, designers and manufacturers have been struggling to improve the chair.

A chair is still a chair if you are not sitting there, but it doesn’t feel or look the same.

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Gilbert chair, Hancock & Moore

Look at it this way.
One could say that all chairs rest upon the ground, but then the tire swing and the porch swing would be out the door. In summer, what child would not choose a tire swing over a creek over the grandest throne? And an old man likes his rocking chair. After a climb to the top of a mountain, a rock will do if you are tired enough. The ground is just the ground and not a chair. A chair is not something to simply be look at and admired. A blind man knows a good chair by its feel and its comfort. A bed is not a chair, but a tired man can recline and fall asleep in his favorite chair, feet propped up, back down, stretched out, without a thought or worry in the world.

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Crosby swivel-glider

To come, to sit, to stay and relax and ponder the weighty questions of Socrates. That is the function and reality of a chair.

To understand a chair one must sit there. It is the place where reality and perception come together.

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Wing by Hancock & Moore

Let me say, I love the beauty of a chair for its own sake. Then too I love the suppleness of leather, the richness and texture of fabric. Is a chair high or low, wide or narrow, big or small? These questions depend upon space and place. A three legged stool might stand for a pup tent on a camp out, but a fine home deserves more.
Try on any of these Hancock & Moore chairs out for size and comfort. See an interior designer at Traditions in Overland Park and Wichita and discover the beautiful reality of a Hancock & Moore chair.

Then ask yourself, if a chair is still a chair if you are not sitting there.