Biography of an Object Writing Contest: A Seat of Distinction

This summer Prices4Antiques, along with Garth’s Auctions, sponsored an antiques writing contest: “Biography of an Object”. This was a unique opportunity for writers of all ages to spark life into a selection of decorative and fine art objects, even some found in the p4A database! We will be posting the 3 first place essays here on our blog.

A Seat of Distinction
By Elaina C. of Xenia, Ohio
First Place: Child’s Division, Age 12 and Under

“Bang, bang, bang!” The carpenter hammered my intricately carved front legs on. I was filled with pain as he did it, for having one’s body parts screwed and hammered together is not a comfortable experience. The carpenter, I
discovered, had a habit of humming and talking himself as he worked and usually said things like, “Where did those nails go?” and, “Beautiful work, if I do say so myself!” What the carpenter didn’t know was that I could hear every word he said.

The next morning was dismal and rainy. Since the workshop was dark already, the carpenter lit some candles for light. Suddenly, a candle toppled to the floor and a pile of sawdust caught on fire. The carpenter untied his apron and beat the fire with it. The flames died down, and flickered out. The carpenter rushed over to me and examined me closely. Thankfully, there wasn’t a burn in sight.

At sunrise, the carpenter burst into his workshop and cried, “What a beautiful chair you are!” All day he hummed happy tunes, and his work was fast paced and efficient. “You’re going to be done this evening.” He said with a smile. Everything from my maroon upholstery to my clawed feet had been made with carefulness. Both the carpenter and I were pleased with the way I turned out. “Today is the day you are to be delivered,” the carpenter told me as he marched in at 5:00 the next morning. You would think he would be sad to part with the best work he had ever done, but he was actually happy to let someone use such a beautiful specimen for a good reason. I wondered who would own me. Would I live in a house with children? Would it be noisy or quiet? I certainly hoped I would be well‐kept. But neither he nor I would know until later what a wonderful purpose I was destined for.

At 7:00 that morning, I was delivered to a little house in Philadelphia. I was glad Philadelphia wasn’t far away, for the bumping of the wagon was loud and uncomfortable. When we got to the house, a quiet, red‐headed man was there to greet us. “Thank you very much for delivering this to me,” he said. The next evening, Thomas Jefferson sat down in me, and, at his desk wrote the opening line, “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…”