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Benches & Stools - General

Benches and stools are some of the first seats created by humans before modern chairs and sofas were designed. Footstools were used by kings or other high-profile dignitaries in ancient Greece and the Byzantine Empire. These were made of bronze or iron and could be folded for easy portability. Although early stools could be decorative, the early history of stools and benches is purely utilitarian. Each bench or stool had a function, the simplest being to rest while eating.

The prayer kneeling bench, or prie dieu, has been used since the 17th century for kneeling while placing sacred texts or religious objects on its shelf. In the 17th century, the gout stool became popular among the wealthy for elevating the feet when one suffered from the unfortunate medical condition. Stools were also used to keep feet raised from cold floors by both the rich and poor classes. During the American Colonial period, the three-legged footstool became popular for its offer of better balance. As the furniture of Europe became more elaborate, so did the stools and benches. One innovative development in stools was the creation of the camel saddle stool originating in Egypt and other parts of North Africa. This seat or footstool is often minimilist in design, although aesthetically pleasing examples made from fine leather and woods can be found.

Benches were also utilitarian in form. They could be used for eating, sitting in church, or waiting for a train. Benches developed in terms of luxury and beauty along with the stool, eventually appearing alongside other European fine furniture as the settee. The mammy bench, or cradle settee, is one of the more creative designs for a bench. It is a bench on rockers with one side closed in for the placement of an infant and the other side open for a person to perform seated chores while rocking the baby.


Quick Facts

  • A contemporary Zaha Hadid Ordrupgaard bench sold for more than $67,000 at a Phillips auction in 2014
  • A contemporary Jenny Holzer truism footstool sold for $37,500 at a Phillips auction in 2014
  • An Antoni Gaudi bench sold for $549,557 at a Christie’s auction in 2011

Recommended Items at Auction

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Scully & Scully Primrose Red Tapestry Footstool 7 x 13 x 13 in. (17.8 x 33 x 33 cm.)
Feb 29, 6:00 PM EST
Scully & Scully Primrose Red Tapestry Footstool 7 x 13 x 13 in. (17.8 x 33 x 33 cm.)
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$13020 Bids
Outdoor Cement Bench 18 1/2 x 32 1/2 x 20 1/2 in. (47 x 82.6 x 52.1 cm.)
Feb 29, 6:00 PM EST
Outdoor Cement Bench 18 1/2 x 32 1/2 x 20 1/2 in. (47 x 82.6 x 52.1 cm.)
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$6515 Bids
Pottery Barn Stool 18 1/4 x 15 in. (46.4 x 38.1 cm.)
Feb 29, 6:00 PM EST
Pottery Barn Stool 18 1/4 x 15 in. (46.4 x 38.1 cm.)
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$2513 Bids
MAPLE BENCH
Feb 29, 12:00 PM CST
MAPLE BENCH
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$2212 Bids
Small Bamboo Stool- 11x12x10"
Mar 01, 12:00 PM PST
Small Bamboo Stool- 11x12x10"
by District Auction
Est: $0- $0
$10510 Bids
Metal and Wood Industrial Slat Bench
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
Metal and Wood Industrial Slat Bench
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $100,000
$6508 Bids
(4) Metal Base Cushion Swivel Top Bar Stools
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
(4) Metal Base Cushion Swivel Top Bar Stools
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$758 Bids
Metal and Wood Industrial Slat Bench
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
Metal and Wood Industrial Slat Bench
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $100,000
$6508 Bids
(2) Metal Counter/Barstools
Feb 29, 6:00 PM EST
(2) Metal Counter/Barstools
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$557 Bids
(2) Craftsman & Harbor Swivel Mechanics Stools
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
(2) Craftsman & Harbor Swivel Mechanics Stools
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$457 Bids
(2) Rustic Swiveling Tractor Seat Barstools
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
(2) Rustic Swiveling Tractor Seat Barstools
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$657 Bids
A Louis XVI style bench seat
Mar 03, 11:00 AM AEDT
A Louis XVI style bench seat
by Gibson's
Est: AUD500- AUD800
AUD6007 Bids
(2) Rustic Swiveling Tractor Seat Barstools
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
(2) Rustic Swiveling Tractor Seat Barstools
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$656 Bids
(2) Rustic Swiveling Tractor Seat Barstools
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
(2) Rustic Swiveling Tractor Seat Barstools
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$555 Bids
(2) Counter/Barstools
Feb 29, 6:00 PM EST
(2) Counter/Barstools
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$165 Bids
Small Bucket Bench
Mar 02, 9:00 AM EST
Small Bucket Bench
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$604 Bids
Larin Corporation Motorcycle Saddle Stools
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
Larin Corporation Motorcycle Saddle Stools
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $100,000
$1504 Bids
CONTINENTAL GILT STOOL, BENCH, FOOT REST
Mar 12, 11:15 AM EDT
CONTINENTAL GILT STOOL, BENCH, FOOT REST
by Ashcroft and Moore
Est: $100- $1,000
$903 Bids
A green painted garden bench, after the model by Sir Edward Lutyens, Modern
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
A green painted garden bench, after the model by Sir Edward Lutyens, Modern
by Andrew Jones Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$2003 Bids
(3pc) Vintage Bench / Footstool Assortment
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
(3pc) Vintage Bench / Footstool Assortment
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$203 Bids
Pair of wood decorator stools in the Senufo style. 18 1/2"H x 22"W x 14"D (one)
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
Pair of wood decorator stools in the Senufo style. 18 1/2"H x 22"W x 14"D (one)
by Ripley Auctions
Est: $160- $300
$403 Bids
5 Ft. Pine Wooden Bench, 60 x 12 x 17 in. (152.4 x 30.5 x 43.2 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
5 Ft. Pine Wooden Bench, 60 x 12 x 17 in. (152.4 x 30.5 x 43.2 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$403 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Benches & Stools - General


Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH

Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH

Public Sale Auction House

Public Sale Auction House

Lawsons

Lawsons

Artcurial

Artcurial