Jolly Roger is a peculiar skull-shaped chair designed by Fabio Novembre for Italian furniture manufacturer Gufram.
Named after the Jolly Roger, the infamous skull and bones flag that would fly above pirate ships, the rotational-molded polyethylene foam armchair debuted at the Salone del Mobile 2013. Available in matte black and white, the chair has a glossy world map hinting at its pirate ancestry imprinted on the inside of the backrest. It’s another little bit of rock n’ roll design provocation from Fabio Novembre.
This isn’t the first time Novembre has sculpted giant body parts to form furniture. The anatomically-inspired dramatic looking chair seems to be a natural evolution of the Nemo Chair that Novembre designed in 2010 and looks like a giant face and the now iconic body-sculpted Him & Her chairs that date back to 2008. Skulls have been a trend for a while now, but thanks to its beautifully minimal curves, Fabio Novembre’s Jolly Roger Chair differentiates itself and comes across as elegantly cult.
According to the designer Jolly Roger Chair product is a demand for freedom, a synonym of intellectual independence that follows a brave path, by keeping away from the standardized typological doldrums of the interior design project, and marks a new planning horizon.
And here is the homage; the scornful tribute to these unwritten codes of audacity and derring- do: Jolly Roger. A chair that formally hints to the skull – the symbol of swagger painted on the red standard of French and then English corsairs and freebooters, terror of the seven seas.
And it is the globe itself to remain suspended in the internal frame – a map surrounded by the oceans, the desire for insatiable conquest, almost an exhortation not to keep still, a warning: never forget you are sitting on the world.
“When people ask me why I wear a skull on my finger, I always answer that it belonged to my grand-father, who was a pirate, and I think I came to believe it myself,” says Novembre. “Everybody should have at least one pirate grand-father in their family tree: it would represent a strong branch to cling to.”