Samurai stools made to order for Hollywood!
Each time we ship a container of furniture over from China, along with our standard ranges there will always be several items that we have made to order to meet specific customer requests. In most cases these are fairly simple changes to our standard pieces, such as a different finish or dimensions, or perhaps a piece based loosely around one of our painted Chinese cabinets. Occasionally we get a slightly more unusual request, and this was the case recently when we took a call from a production company based at Shepperton studios in London.
The company is involved in filming the famous Japanese story of the ‘47 Ronin‘ – one of the most celebrated tales in the history of the Samurai, in which a band of swordsmen avenge the death of their master at the beginning of the 18th century. The film stars Keanu Reeves as one of the swordsmen and is currently being filmed in the UK and on location.
For one of the more important scenes in the film, the production company required 25 folding stools for the Samurai to be seated on, and were delighted when we confirmed that we would be able to produce these for them, complete with woven seat, decorative dragons in carved relief and brassware to match similar stools from ancient Japan. As they were in China, these type of stools were used on the battlefield in Japan from hundreds of years ago – the folding design making them easy to carry around for the chieftan to sit and survey the battle.
The production team had searched for similar stools online and had found the Shimu website and our own ‘Folding Horseshoe Armchair‘ – itself a reproduction of chairs used in China during the Ming dynasty. They provided us with examples of the type of piece they were looking for and, after we produced drawings to confirm the final design and dimensions, we got the go ahead. The stools have been finished in a classic red lacquer, and are now on their way with our latest container from Shanghai, due to arrive in plenty of time for filming in March.
Look out for the release of the film later on in the year and see if you can spot the Shimu stools, and if you would like one to match Keanu’s just give us a call! You can also see a few other examples of bespoke pieces we’ve made in the past on the bespoke furniture page of our website.