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Grizzly Bear Chair


Am I the only one who thinks this grizzly bear chair presented to Andrew Johnson in 1865 really seals his image as a villain? Who can’t see him drunkenly spewing racist epithets while sitting here? Did he click his fingers against the grizzly bear claws while undermining black rights? The possibilities are endless.

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  • FourTen

    Count the paws.

    (can’t unsee)

    • ploeg

      Speaking of 8-legged frogs….

      • UberMitch

        It’s polymelia day at LGM!

  • Lee

    Why am I getting the image of Andrew Johnson as a Bond Villain with Grant, Thaddeus Stevens, or even Thomas Nast as the hero.

  • Lee

    This chair is also in very bad taste even for the standards of the time.

  • Ginger Yellow

    It certainly suggests an image of him as a supervillain breeding insect-bear hybrids.

    • Morbo

      Gives new meaning to the old fantasy standard Bugbear.

  • mark f

    Way more exciting than the band.

  • mark f

    Presented to the president by a private citizen. I bet all Barack Obama gets is hate mail and weird photoshops.

  • ploeg

    It suggests to me that Sagamore Hill is somehow incomplete.

    • Western Dave

      I had the exact same thought.

  • Scott de B.

    The chair used to be owned by Dr. Moreau.

    • Hogan

      Are we not men?

      • Ramon A. Clef

        We are Devo.

  • ploeg

    Now picture Andrew Johnson on a chair with a bear head snarling underneath Johnson’s crotch.

    • Ubu Imperator

      Well, so much for sleeping tonight.

      • SatanicPanic

        Whatever you do, don’t look at the chair maker’s wikipedia page.

        • I want to be “Known for: presidential chairs”

          • Not for “playing for President Lincoln on a fiddle made from a mule skull?”

        • McAllen

          I take that after he was done with the chair he used the leftover grizzly parts to make his beard.

          • ploeg

            Nope, quite the opposite in fact: he put a little bit of himself into everything he made.

        • heckblazer

          He’s not as bad as The Chairmaker in Use of Weapons

  • c u n d gulag

    Can you imagine what the folks from “Queer Eye For the Straight Guy” would say about that?

    “OMG! What? Even the moose-head ran off when it took one look at that monstrosity?”

  • cpinva

    something tells me that chair didn’t get a lot of use in the white house, if it even saw the light of day, and wasn’t stuck in a basement closet. it’s pretty disgusting, even by 1860’s standards. although, it was probably pretty warm during the winter.

  • NBarnes

    It’s terrible, but how could my opinion of Andrew Jackson be any lower? Answer; there is no way that could be achieved. So this is merely an example of appalling tacky Americana.

    • NBarnes

      Or appealingly tacky. It’s entertaining to think that we’ve discovered something that Theodore Roosevelt would find too unsubtle for his tastes.

      • timb

        I’m still laughing AND it’s true.

        Well-played, old man.

    • wengler

      Andrew Johnson, not Andrew Jackson.

      And it was presented to him as a gift to the President, so it’s possible he didn’t even like it.

      • rea

        He put it on display in the Yellow Oval Room.

        Buchanan, Lincoln and Hayes all got elkhorn chairs–didn’t rate bears.

        • Bill Murray

          By the standards of today, Buchanan might have rated a bear

      • Aaron B.

        Eh, it’s not like there’s been a non-awful President named Andrew.

        • Name withheld

          Wait, you mean they’re not the same person? I am 100% serious… I only just now realized that.

          • JustRuss

            Now that you mention it, I’ve never seen a picture of Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson together. Hmmmmmm…..

    • Alex

      I am going to have to ask you to step outside, sir, for pistols at 4 paces.

  • …although I want Sam Raimi to option it for the next Evil Dead chapter.

  • Hogan

    So is that sucker still in the White House somewhere, or did they move it to that giant warehouse where we keep the Ark of the Covenant?

    • STH

      Yeah, what do they do with all the weird gifts the President gets? I totally want in on that yard sale.

  • Alex

    I want one. I wonder if CB2 or West Elm has them?

  • Warren Terra

    It’s a Second Amendment thing, the right to Bear Arms.

    • rea

      Wikipedia reports about the chairmaker: “He died in 1888 after accidentally shooting himself in the leg.”

      • mark f

        So really Grover Cleveland got the best chair?

        • timb

          He got two, but separated by four years

    • It’s a Second Amendment thing, the right to Bear Arms.


      And we go around bemoaning Andrew Johnson’s lack of decency?

    • JustRuss

      The Internets, you win them.

  • David Mathias

    You’re jealous that you don’t have your own.

  • I am sick and tired of all the Game of Thrones coverage.

  • Njorl

    It’s all freaks today at LGM – 6-legged bears, eight-legged frogs and two-backed beasts.

    • Not to mention the troll on the Detroit thread.

  • dome doofus

    “the great feature of the chair was that, by touching a cord, the head of the monster grizzly bear with jaws extended, would dart out in front from under the seat, snapping and gnashing its teeth as natural as life.”

    • Warren Terra

      How the heck did this chair not make it into Wild, Wild West?

    • Woodrowfan

      Oh dear God, i thought you were kidding until I read the link.

    • muddy

      This would be great as a Santa chair.

  • Bitter Scribe

    This is almost as creepy as the passage in Vidal’s “Burr” where someone tries to sell Burr “Indian shoes”–which are just that.

  • Stag Party Palin

    OT: hilarious mistake made by TV dude stealing picture off the internet and using it without checking it out. Bet you didn’t know about “All In My Snatch” by Paula Broadwell…..

  • It’s all freaks today at LGM – 6-legged bears, eight-legged frogs and two-backed beasts.

    The first thing I thought of was 2 people spooned, kneeling on the seat of that chair, facing backward, leaning forward onto the fur of the….uh…

    Okay, never mind. I apologize. Utterly disgusting.


    …No. Excuse me. Unforgivable.



    Fur-cushioned knees, though…

    • Woodrowfan

      Now we know why Newt tried to see if the Smithsonian had this chair in its collection…

  • $10 says Jeffrey Loria has one of these in his office.

    • rea

      Loria’s chair is made of Miami and Montreal fans

      • Loria would have to go using endangered species for his extravagant symbol of cartoon villainy, wouldn’t he?

        • rea

          You actually have to give Loria some kind of credit. Remorse over his role in moving the Expos out of Canada seems to have motivated him to buy up an expensive team and then ship it to Toronto.

  • scott g

    Thanks for not pointing out the Humboldt County origins of that excrescence. Those bears were some of the last of the Lost Coast.

    • I didn’t realize it was Humboldt County until commenters above pointed us to the Wikipedia page. Which was plenty disturbing.

  • Barry Freed

    That would make a fine crapper.

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