This small iron chair with original rexine type upholstery is French and was designed for use whilst driving. It could either be used for an additional passenger when positioned between the 2 seats or for picnicking. It has a label to the back giving the name Strap-Auto along with the company name Systeme Truffy and B.G.D. This is an abbreviation of Bte S.G.D.G. meaning it is patented but without government guarantee. There is very little information available on this chair although 2 other examples I have discovered have been described as rare. One of these chairs had a label which also gives the address details of Franco Canadienne, 20 rue d'Armenonville, Neuilly Sur Seine.
The chair was made at the beginning of the 20th century, the start of the age of the automobile, when interest in cars and their accessories was very strong. The folding mechanism is very effective with a lever which both releases and holds the back in position. With the back folded against the seat, the X frame legs will also fold making the chair very compact. Worthy of comparison is the folding chair patented in 1912 by Calvin A. Buffington, whose company made all sorts of car equipment to meet the fast growing American demand. An example of Buffington's chair can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum. This chair is much smaller in size but fits in with the innovative design of the early 20th century. The shape of the seat and simplified back give it an industrial elegance that is met by its practicality. Circa 1910.