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The influx of Ikea has put paid to the hot seats of the past

Nearly 40 years before the ban on fox hunting, when I was about to get married, the question of wedding presents arose. My partner, who moved in designerly circles at the time, was in no doubt about what should be the grand present: a surprise. The day came and it certainly was a big one: eight cantilever chromium tubular steel chairs - six armless and two with arms - plus a circular white melamine table of matching appearance.

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