Diphros - Greek Stool in Bronze and Wood by Mark Harman


A finely decorated stool taken from a painting on a large Apulian red-figure pelike of circa 360-350 B.C.

Black patinated bronze legs cast using the lost-wax technique, with a gessoed silver gilded and painted wooden seat frame, decorated in imitation of silver-inlaid bronze.

Height: 525mm

Depth: 485mm

Width: 680mm


The Greek diphros according to ancient Greek literature seems to have served both as a humble stool and as a seat of gods and heroes as represented often on Greek vases and reliefs. Elaborately decorated diphroi were listed among the treasures of the Parthenon, and the famous diphros of Xerxes, captured by the Greeks, and placed there, was described as having feet, or possibly legs, of silver. There were numerous types of diphroi of varying design, but, predominantly, I have chosen the type with turned legs with preference, due to its evolution to perfection of proportion and elegance up to the fifth century BC.

Although surviving examples of wooden legs of such stools exhibit the form and construction methods, i.e. the leg of a wooden stool found by Flinders Petrie in Egypt and now in the Metropolitan Museum, and two legs and various sections of railings found at excavations at Olympia in the mid-20th Century by Dr. Kunze, these relics unfortunately show no remains of decoration to their surfaces, and for this reason, I have adopted certain motifs and methods of ornament that adorned vases and various other surviving artefacts, and adapted these for my purpose with a degree of artistic licence.

*The Diphroi can be commissioned with or without the ornamentation to their rails or produced in various woods and finishes.
Modelled on original Greek representations, artefacts, relics and vase paintings, Mark Harman designs representative fine valuable furniture inspired by G.M.A Richter, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Emmanuel Pontremoli (Kerylos) & Theodore Reinach.
Trapeza (Greek banqueting table) ~ Kline (Greek bed/couch) ~ Diphros/Diphroi (Greek stool/s).
Images © 2011 Mark Harman