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.

71 comments on this post.
  1. FourTen:

    Count the paws.

    (can’t unsee)

  2. 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.

  3. Lee:

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

  4. Ginger Yellow:

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

  5. mark f:

    Way more exciting than the band.

  6. mark f:

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

  7. ploeg:

    Speaking of 8-legged frogs….

  8. ploeg:

    It suggests to me that Sagamore Hill is somehow incomplete.

  9. Scott de B.:

    The chair used to be owned by Dr. Moreau.

  10. ploeg:

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

  11. Morbo:

    Gives new meaning to the old fantasy standard Bugbear.

  12. 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?”

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. NBarnes:

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

  16. Hogan:

    Are we not men?

  17. Dr.KennethNoisewater:

    I was gonna say…

    It’s just ugly and creepy.

  18. Dr.KennethNoisewater:

    Aww. The band is exciting in its own subtle way.

  19. Ubu Imperator:

    Well, so much for sleeping tonight.

  20. UberMitch:

    It’s polymelia day at LGM!

  21. zombie rotten mcdonald (unashamed Knack fan):

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

  22. Ramon A. Clef:

    We are Devo.

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

  25. Alex:

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

  26. Alex:

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

  27. SatanicPanic:

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

  28. Warren Terra:

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

  29. rea:

    He put it on display in the Yellow Oval Room.

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

  30. Dr.KennethNoisewater:

    I want to be “Known for: presidential chairs”

  31. rea:

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

  32. mark f:

    So really Grover Cleveland got the best chair?

  33. David Mathias:

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

  34. DrDick:


  35. McAllen:

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

  36. ploeg:

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

  37. Substance McGravitas:

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

  38. Njorl:

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

  39. Bill Murray:

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

  40. 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.”

  41. Warren Terra:

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

  42. 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.

  43. osceola:

    I got that.

  44. Dr.KennethNoisewater:


  45. 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…..

  46. timb:

    I’m still laughing AND it’s true.

    Well-played, old man.

  47. timb:

    He got two, but separated by four years

  48. joe from Lowell:

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

  49. joe from Lowell:


  50. heckblazer:

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

  51. Julia Grey:

    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…

  52. GFW:

    Just because you brought it up

  53. Woodrowfan:

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

  54. Woodrowfan:

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

  55. Erik Loomis:

    Not to mention the troll on the Detroit thread.

  56. Aaron B.:

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

  57. STH:

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

  58. Brien Jackson:

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

  59. Julia Grey:

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


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

  60. 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.

  61. Barry Freed:

    That would make a fine crapper.

  62. Erik Loomis:

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

  63. Name withheld:

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

  64. rea:

    Loria’s chair is made of Miami and Montreal fans

  65. Brien Jackson:

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

  66. Western Dave:

    I had the exact same thought.

  67. 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.

  68. IM:

    The throne of Bear Island?

  69. muddy:

    This would be great as a Santa chair.

  70. JustRuss:

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

  71. JustRuss:

    The Internets, you win them.

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