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A Condensed History of The Chesterfield Sofa

Updated on June 19, 2012
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Chesterfield sofas share a complex history, alongside the elite, the privileged and aristocrats. History reveals that these types of couches have been commonly used in the confines of old institutions, government buildings and luxurious homes for generations. The name Chesterfield is by all means a complex term, coined by equally complex roots. The name itself is supported by time, in line with history as well as social issues and tradition.

A room, in the 1900’s, would not be complete, unless the master owns a Chesterfield sofa. Gentlemen, wearing hats and bowlers, seek momentary refuge in their respective morning rooms, laying their backs onto these comfortable Chesterfields. On the other hand, women, donning their formal dresses, are all glammed up, busying themselves with a cup of tea and biscuits, while enjoying their time in these leather seats. Comfort and sophistication define a leather armchair and Chesterfield sofas represent it all.

Here are several theories supporting the history of Leather Chesterfields and how come it has been the sofa of both elegance and tradition:

  • History suggests that it was originally commissioned by the Fourth Earl of Chesterfield namely Philip Dormer Stanhope.

Born on September 22, 1694, Philip Dormer Stanhope is a renowned diplomat, statesman and writer. His works and affinity for the classy and tasteful, is perceived to be the main reason why the famous leather armchair and Chesterfield sofa are given its proper name and distinction.


  • Chesterfield sofas are all about the design and structure. The sofa’s quilted, buttoned upholstery and main use of premier leather makes the sofa a remarkable choice for the elite and well-to-do. The low-seat base and the couch’s rounded arms spell comfort, but at the same time, not forgetting the tradition, when it was firstly used. Traditionally made with buttoned backs and arms with a cushioned seat a more modern design feature is the fully buttoned Balston Leather Chesterfield.

A Chesterfield is about buttons, leather and quilting. It is the furniture previously reserved for the upscale market. It is a mark of class and stature back in the old days. A chesterfield can be referred to as the “Mother of all Sofas” because of its elegance at an affordable price.

  • Both facts and myths are involved in tracing the Chesterfield sofas roots. Some claim that the constant use of the term, dating back in the 19th century, was started by the Americans and Canadians, who seem to use the word Chesterfield to refer to almost any settee, couch or armchair.

History and tradition defines a Chesterfield sofa and today, the elegance brought by these leather Chesterfields cannot be underestimated. Modern designers use Chesterfield sofas as inspiration while designing interiors for today’s homes and buildings. The sofas’ tufted back and all-leather base are still serving its purpose of comfort and style, alongside other modern trends.

Nowadays, one can enjoy Leather Chesterfields Sofas without having the need to spend huge money. Customization of these leather armchair and sofas are very much possible, given the numerous sellers and manufacturers. Leather choices, colors and designs are more varied and up-to-date. Truly, Chesterfield sofas have come a long way. These sofas are no longer the couch for the elite but the furniture of people with great taste.


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