By Nii B. Andrews
There is a certain warmth of feeling that is engendered when one encounters colonial furniture from Ghana.
The craftsmanship is of a high quality; never a nail in sight; exquisite joinery abounds with well seasoned pest free wood that never ever warps.
A timeless but restrained finesse permeates the designs.
The pieces always remind me of the early 60s – in Mamprobi, on the Accra Aca compound – where I spent my early years.
The dark brown low wood armchairs with their art deco influenced lines and wide armrests were present in almost every living room -including the residences of both Grandpa’s at Osu and Teshie respectively and all the uncles and aunties had them too.
My Great Grandpa’s house in Krobo Odumase has the best ones that I have seen; those have scalloped backs and scrolled arms.
Over the last 25 years, I have rescued colonial furniture from a pig sty (while a sow was in labor) – that piece was an inlaid wood trunk that still had many complete newspapers in it from the 1940s.
Another time, a lovely buffet chest was being used as a table to smoke herrings; that rescue succeeded too.
On yet another occasion so did that for a rectangular low center table with four delightful angled spindly legs.
My cousin Pierre and his spouse – Tanya, house their drinks in a stately reconfigured colonial armoire; it is simply magnificent.
Tanya refurbishes colonial furniture professionally and with great sensitivity.
And just last week, she sent another refurbished one to Tema to house the collection of vintage tuxedos. The two year quest to find a safe closet for them is now finally over.
All told, the “town hall chairs” are unbeatable for sitting out on a porch with a good book (or glossy mag) between 8 to 10 in the mornings – before the heat and humidity force you to enlarge your carbon footprint with the AC.
My roommate still works up a bellicose rant about how she never received the colonial iron bed her Grandma had promised her.
The one in the guest room downstairs she insists is a toy compared to that particular one.
Every morning, I am overjoyed when I see my Grandma’s massive dresser cum chest of drawers, as I prepare to shave; it weighs a ton.
No chipboard furniture for me, I stay far away from it.
Why bother when the colonial stuff is indestructible and has loads of charm.
Now where did they say the rosewood forest is located?
****To refurbish or purchase excellent colonial furniture contact
Jardi Kordylas 0246910000.