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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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Mackenzi-Childs multi colored & beaded bench
Apr 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Mackenzi-Childs multi colored & beaded bench
by South Jersey Auction by Babington Auction Inc.
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$85013 Bids
A vintage folding step stool with hessian top. 51 x 31 x 23cm
Apr 21, 7:00 PM AEST
A vintage folding step stool with hessian top. 51 x 31 x 23cm
by Lawsons
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD608 Bids
A bed end foot stool on short cabriole legs with purple button top.38 x 100 x 42cm
Apr 21, 7:00 PM AEST
A bed end foot stool on short cabriole legs with purple button top.38 x 100 x 42cm
by Lawsons
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD1107 Bids
Hardwood modernist style bench with linen cushion (48 x 170 x 39cm)
Apr 24, 6:30 PM AEST
Hardwood modernist style bench with linen cushion (48 x 170 x 39cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD180- AUD240
AUD807 Bids
MacKenzie Childs Designer Pottery Tuffet Footstool
Apr 24, 12:00 PM EDT
MacKenzie Childs Designer Pottery Tuffet Footstool
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$2256 Bids
BELLA COLLECTION PALM BEACH OTTOMAN 18 1/2 x 27 x 20 1/2 in. (47 x 68.6 x 52.1 cm.)
Apr 23, 1:00 PM EDT
BELLA COLLECTION PALM BEACH OTTOMAN 18 1/2 x 27 x 20 1/2 in. (47 x 68.6 x 52.1 cm.)
by Potomack Company
Est: $200- $300
$3506 Bids
1960s Von Dutch Harley Mid Modern Barstool
Apr 21, 9:00 AM MST
1960s Von Dutch Harley Mid Modern Barstool
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$1005 Bids
Set of three 'Jamaica' stools by Pepe Cortes for Amat (81 x 52cm)
Apr 24, 6:30 PM AEST
Set of three 'Jamaica' stools by Pepe Cortes for Amat (81 x 52cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD400- AUD600
AUD455 Bids
1930s/ 40s silky oak three-seater bench (90 x 213 x 43cm)
Apr 24, 6:30 PM AEST
1930s/ 40s silky oak three-seater bench (90 x 213 x 43cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD354 Bids
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CUSTOM-MADE WINDOW BENCH 20th Century Height 9”. Length 47”. Depth 10”.
Apr 25, 9:30 AM EDT
CUSTOM-MADE WINDOW BENCH 20th Century Height 9”. Length 47”. Depth 10”.
by Eldred's
Est: $300- $500
$2003 Bids
Cast Iron Wooden Park Porch Garden Bench
Apr 21, 9:00 AM MST
Cast Iron Wooden Park Porch Garden Bench
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
PAIR OF VINTAGE WHITE PAINTED SPINDLE STOOLS 20 x 18 x 16 1/2 in. (50.8 x 45.7 x 41.9 cm.)
Apr 23, 1:00 PM EDT
PAIR OF VINTAGE WHITE PAINTED SPINDLE STOOLS 20 x 18 x 16 1/2 in. (50.8 x 45.7 x 41.9 cm.)
by Potomack Company
Est: $400- $600
$2753 Bids
Set of three round recycled timber milking stools (46 x 32 x 48cm)
Apr 24, 6:30 PM AEST
Set of three round recycled timber milking stools (46 x 32 x 48cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD303 Bids
Set of three reclaimed hardwood stools in cork form (46 x 24cm)
Apr 24, 6:30 PM AEST
Set of three reclaimed hardwood stools in cork form (46 x 24cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD300- AUD400
AUD253 Bids
1950s Vintage Steiff Mohair Turtle Footstool
May 06, 9:00 AM EDT
1950s Vintage Steiff Mohair Turtle Footstool
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $10- $1,000
$152 Bids
Hollywood Regency Mirrored Leather & Wood Stools
Apr 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Hollywood Regency Mirrored Leather & Wood Stools
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$1752 Bids
Pair of oak and iron swivel architect's stools, adjustable height (72 x 35cm)
Apr 24, 6:30 PM AEST
Pair of oak and iron swivel architect's stools, adjustable height (72 x 35cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD602 Bids
(2) FRENCH OAK TRESTLE BENCHES, 98.5"L
Apr 21, 10:00 AM CDT
(2) FRENCH OAK TRESTLE BENCHES, 98.5"L
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $500
$2002 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Benches & Stools - General


Bright Star Antiques Co.

Bright Star Antiques Co.

Kamelot Auctions

Kamelot Auctions

Lawsons

Lawsons

Abell Auction

Abell Auction