What is a Hand Chair?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

The hand chair is often associated with furniture of the early 1960s and 1970s, and its creation is the work of artist Pedro Freideberg. Freideberg designed a wood chair where the seat was essentially the palm of the hand, and the fingers rose up as part of the back, and partly on the sides. Freideberg also became known for his hand foot chairs, where the pedestal of the chair was a foot, and the seat was shaped like a hand.

A beanbag chair is a variation of the hand chair.
A beanbag chair is a variation of the hand chair.

Many people collect original hand chairs, but it isn’t necessary to spend huge amounts of money on a Freideberg original, and the hand chair has become easier to find because of a boost in popularity in the 2000s. Though some hand chairs are still made of the traditional wood, and may be suited for either indoor or outdoor spaces, others are made of stone and are particularly excellent for outdoor seating. Some newer manufacturers make hand chairs that are upholstered, and may use inexpensive materials like vinyl, and a few hand chairs can be found in plastic. One variation of the hand chair is a beanbag chair.

Where to place a hand chair in a home really depends on stylistic preference. They could be fun seats for a family room, talking points for a patio, or they might add an element of style and quirkiness to a dorm room. They can come in numerous sizes, and some are specifically designed as kid’s seats and might be great for kid’s rooms or play rooms.

When two hands would be better than one to fulfill design preferences, there are double-seated hand chairs or two hand couches, which can make for some fun. In the couch style, one of the traditional settings of the hands is with them placed pinky to pinky. This gives each person his own “palm” sitting space.

It’s certain that most furniture stores won’t carry huge varieties of hand chairs, but many have one or two. They can even be found at a lot of large department stores like Target®. Companies that specialize in catering to kids or teens furnishing dorms usually have a few of these chair styles. Price on a hand chair or couch really varies and may be based on the seller, the quality of materials and other factors. It is possible to get such chairs for far less than $100 USD, but for a Freideberg classic, especially the hand/foot style, a person could expect to pay at least $20,000 US Dollars (USD), though this figure can also vary depending upon availability and demand.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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