Chairs as we know them have been around since at least the 1700s. Figure 5, from the shop of William Seaver (active 1793–1837), typifies the fine quality of many Boston Windsors of the 1790s. The basic low-back form is that of a roundabout, or corner, chair adapted from formal design to stick-and-socket construction. (4 vols) Books on Windsor Chairs Nutting. Fig. What do stamped numbers mean on antique furniture? Sometime during the 18th century, chair makers decided that fluffy armchairs would be more comfortable than the bench-style seats that had been in fashion up to that time. He had made Windsor chairs for 45 years. When trying to identify antique furniture, dedicated antique hunters search for beautifully preserved pieces, armed with pins, magnifying glasses, spirit levels and all sorts of testing equipment. In the entry area of our living room, in our 100 year old house by the stairway, is a small sectioned off part of the room. An example of an English or Victorian style rocking chair is the Windsor. A good place to start when identifying furniture is often to figure out what period it's from. There may be more than one layer, indicating it has been painted many times over the years. Here are some of them. The Windsor chair originated in England during the early eighteenth century. Scattered soling. Private collection; photography courtesy of Winterthur Museum. ... Windsor Rocking Chair. Private collection; photography courtesy of Winterthur Museum. On the end wall of that space this vintage breakfront secretary with bubble glass now sits. When identifying antique chairs, it's important to have a basic knowledge of the significant design periods and the important types of chairs. H. 34", W. (arms) 24 1/2", D. (seat) 16 1/4". A Lesson in Identifying Furniture Age. Windsor chairs were made in a wide range of styles and there are distinct regional variations from all over Britain and the USA where the form was equally popular. Following area work, the bow face is finished with a deep, broad channel. 1: Low-back Windsor armchair, Philadelphia, PA, ca. H. 27 3/4", W. (arms) 28 1/2", D. (seat) 17". Private collection; photography courtesy of Winterthur Museum. After finding a few, you'll likely be able to narrow down the general era the chair was made. Traditionally, the legs and uprights were usually turned on a pole lathe. Before you can accurately determine the age of a Windsor chair, it is imperative that you do your homework. William Cox bill to Stephen Girard, April 28, 1786, Girard Papers, Girard College, Philadelphia, PA (microfilm, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia). Early Windsors, late 18th century and very early 19th century, had a single plank for a seat, with the grain running from side to side. (4 vols) Books on Windsor Chairs Nutting. If you need help identifying windsor chairs, then you have come to the right place. Examine the chair’s construction. In 1994 he and his wife Susanna gave the craft a permanent home when they opened a school named ‘The Windsor Institute’. Elizabethan (1520–1620) Early American Style (1640–1700) She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. And in America, Windsor chairs were the seat of choice for the founding fathers. 1755–1760. // Ormsbee. Oak was the Windsor chairmaker’s principal choice for bentwork, as indicated in the crest piece, which exhibits the distinctive figure of that wood. Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. ... Windsor chair. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple, oak, and hickory. Technically, an antique is a piece of furniture with special value because of its age, particularly those pieces embellished with fine artistry. An old Windsor rocking chair will show the signs of use that come with age. 4 (right): Fan-back Windsor side chair, Rhode Island, ca. Significant Furniture Design Periods. In the 1800s, this stamp was often placed under the seat or inside a back leg. The color of paint matters, so see which painted colors to look for. Some useful clues can be found in the construction and composition of the seat. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple, oak, and hickory. From the early 1700s to early 1800s, Windsor chairs were in widespread use in rural parts of England and known as garden chairs. English Style Rocking Chairs. 6 (left): Bow-back Windsor armchair, branded by Joseph Henzey (1743–1796), Philadelphia, PA, ca. Although high-back Windsor armchairs were being made in Philadelphia by the mid-1740s, the refined models commonly associated with the design were not introduced to the local market until after 1750 (Fig. Fig. Feb 21, 2015 - If you need help identifying windsor chairs, then you have come to the right place. Wood shrinks with time, loosening joints, and use often wears hand carvings and embellishments smooth. Fig. Unlike other chairs of contemporary date, which have open seat frames to receive upholstery or a woven bottom, the Windsor has a solid plank seat. Anne. After the 1830s, cushion designed advanced a bit and included springs, padding and webbing. The goal of this lens is to be a guide for the identification of both antique windsor chairs and the more modern varieties as well. Early armchairs often had loose seat cushions stuffed with feathers. 5). Windsor Chairs, An Illustrated Handbook, by Wallace Nutting [leading New England authority], 1917. The Windsor Chair. The spindled backs come in several heights and shapes too, and that feature usually identifies Windsor chairs: "low back," "comb back," "bow back," for example. Beware of furniture that’s made to look old. Philadelphia and New York City sack-back Windsor chairs are discussed in Evans. The Windsor chair originated in England during the early eighteenth century. Each expository composition will probably have certain aim. NY: Deerfield, Windsor chairs are still being made in the traditional way today. Copyright ©2021. Research Windsor chairs. 2: High-back Windsor armchair, Philadelphia, PA, ca. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Difference Between a Sofa and a Davenport, How to Tell the Age of a Thonet Bentwood Wicker Rocker, Mental Floss: Screw This, Screw That: Why We Have Different Types of Screws. All rights reserved. One of the greatest telltale signs of a chair's age include the markings or tags left by the manufacturer. The main types of windsor chair include sack back, hoopback, comb-back, continuous arm, low back, rod back and fan back. Look at images of chairs similar to yours online if you are unsure when your chair was manufactured. Check the bottoms of chairs and drawers to look for different wood types. Unlike other chairs of contemporary date, which have open seat frames to receive upholstery or a woven bottom, the Windsor has a solid plank seat. 1760–1770. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies. There are some ways to identify the age of Windsor chairs. They were introduced to America in the 1720s. If the chair is painted, the paint may be crackled or peeling and even worn through to the bare wood in spots. The earliest American Windsor chair known is a red-painted Philadelphia example that dates from about 1720. Maple and cherry furniture are usually American. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple, oak, hickory, and ash. Windsor chairs were crafted from a variety of woods like pine and birch, with more than one type used in a single chair. For example, a chair that is supposedly original, unrefinished and from the 1800s should not smell like fresh varnish or upholstery. 2). She failed to have some intention of receiving it printed while writing. Before that, the chair was essentially a stool with a back, and only the head of the house or the upper echelon of society sat in them. When you're trying to determine the age of an antique, take a look at these parts and look for tool marks, slight variances in size and shape, and elongation of round parts (round wood contracts across the grain, resulting in an oval shape after time). Generally, the older chairs will have the most spindles. Study the construction. Originally, they were made by attaching rockers to a standard Windsor chair. The saddled seat of white pine is modeled at the front corners with cushioned surfaces above rising edges. H-stretcher and saddle seat. Federal – Early 19th century. Mass-produced chairs from the 19th century to modern times are often stamped with a manufacturer's mark. Courtesy of Winterthur Museum. The first name associated with the new form was “Forest Chair.” Nancy Goyne Evans. It was made in the early 19th century in Massachusetts. 64.1526. Sometimes style is enough to tell how old a chair is, especially if that style was only popular for a short time. White pine (seat) with birch and other woods. Boston bow-back Windsor chairs and the work of William Seaver are discussed in Evans. A Windsor chair is a chair built with a solid wooden seat into which the chair-back and legs are round-tenoned, or pushed into drilled holes, in contrast to standard chairs (whose back legs and back uprights are continuous).The seats of Windsor chairs were often carved into a shallow dish or saddle shape for comfort. Identifying the Age of a Rocking Chair Through Materials. Their program of classes was recognized throughout the … 1783–1790. But since this particular design goes back to the 1700s, the earliest Windsors fetch big bucks, selling for $3,000-$5,000 apiece. February 8, 2016. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple and other woods. Watch Ph.D. antiques appraiser Dr. Lori show you how to identify and value a painted Windsor chair from the 1800s. If every journey begins with a single step, the road to antique furniture knowledge can start with a foot—specifically, the antique foot style belonging to a chair, chest or table.. 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