Bear chair

I stumbled across a page with some information about the fantastic grizzly bear chair that Andrew Johnson had in the his library (the Yellow Oval Room).

Made from two grizzly bears captured by Seth [Kinman]. The four legs and claws were those of a huge grizzly and the back and sides ornamented with immense claws. The seat was soft and exceedingly comfortable, but the great feature of the chair was that, by touching a cord, the head of the monster grizzly bear with jaws extended, would dart out in front from under the seat, snapping and gnashing its teeth as natural as life. This chair Seth presented to [President] Johnson, September 8, 1865.

Yes, the head would dart out from underneath… natural as life….

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14 thoughts on “Bear chair

  1. This chair should have been used in the State Dining Room during TR’s administration, it’s right up his alley. It would have gone so well with all the wall mounted animals. I can almost see him sitting in it at the head of the table.

  2. Whitehouse.gov has a whole pile of Christmas facts/drawings/menus just posted. Can’t wait for photos of the actual installation!!

  3. Whitehouse.gov has a whole pile of Christmas facts/drawings/menus just posted. Can’t wait for photos of the actual installation!!

  4. They showed the Blue Room Tree and the East Room Creche on the Today Show this morning. The tree is beautiful and the McKim sofa is back in the Blue Room. I’m thinking that perhaps it replaces the usual Bellange sofa, not just for recovering purposes, but because with its white and gold wood it blends into the wainscotting and allows the tree to be more prominent. Much of the other furniture is removed from the Blue Room.

  5. That chair is almost as awful as the swan settees in the foyer. There must be more McKim pieces lying around the basement to replace those two creepy benches!

  6. Why did you spell the name of
    President GHWBush’s vice president
    Quail..trying to be cute or
    something. It is QUAYLE!

  7. That litle girl with Bush in that
    photo is not Jenna Bush..that is
    Marshall Bush..Marvin Bush’s daughter..
    Check it out.

  8. Thank you! With regard to the Veep, I’m a man of subtle humor but not that subtle. And with regard to Mrs. Bush’s granddaughter, I’m not sure why I made that assumption; she wasn’t identified in the original.

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