H. 37 3/8", W. (seat) 17 1/2", D. (seat) 16 1/16". Traditionally, the legs and uprights were usually turned on a pole lathe. The chair has evolved greatly since that time, with numerous styles and materials from which to choose. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple and oak. Clues can indicate the date that a chair … She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. The main types of windsor chair include sack back, hoopback, comb-back, continuous arm, low back, rod back and fan back. Jan 19, 2015 - There are many different types of antique chairs, and each has a unique appearance. The first name associated with the new form was “Forest Chair.” Nancy Goyne Evans. William Cox bill to Stephen Girard, April 28, 1786, Girard Papers, Girard College, Philadelphia, PA (microfilm, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia). 1: Low-back Windsor armchair, Philadelphia, PA, ca. An example of an English or Victorian style rocking chair is the Windsor. The Philadelphia high-back Windsor chair is discussed in Evans. 1790–1800. 5). After finding a few, you'll likely be able to narrow down the general era the chair was made. In the 1900s, synthetic materials such as upholstery foam and fiberfill entered the scene. Private collection; photography courtesy of Winterthur Museum. Windsor chairs are still being made in the traditional way today. The earliest American Windsor chair known is a red-painted Philadelphia example that dates from about 1720. Watch Ph.D. antiques appraiser Dr. Lori show you how to identify and value a painted Windsor chair from the 1800s. Introduced in Philadelphia in the mid-1780s, the new pattern was being made in all production centers within a few years. As the principal unit of construction, the Windsor plank fastens the turned and shaved members of the chair back and base, although the two structures are independent of one another. “The chair arrived yesterday without any problems and I am absolutely satisfied! A good place to start when identifying furniture is often to figure out what period it's from. The bread and butter of the Windsor trade in the 1790s was the bow-back side chair (Fig. On the end wall of that space this vintage breakfront secretary with bubble glass now sits. Antique furniture styles are still in use today and many reproductions exist. Check the bottoms of chairs and drawers to look for different wood types. 5: Bow-back Windsor side chair, branded by William Seaver (active 1793–1837), Boston, MA, ca. 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. AntiquesandFineArt.com. Following area work, the bow face is finished with a deep, broad channel. Windsor Chairs, An Illustrated Handbook, by Wallace Nutting [leading New England authority], 1917. Windsor chairs were an ergonomic design development in their day. In pre-Revolutionary years Philadelphia work commonly contained carved crest terminals with large volutes resembling those in formal Queen Anne chairs. February 8, 2016. 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.. Identifying antique furniture feet can help determine the approximate age of a piece, along with the period in which it was made, helping you research and value antique pieces more skillfully. An important key to knowing a chair's story is finding its age. Chairs as we know them have been around since at least the 1700s. Courtesy of Winterthur Museum. In 1994 he and his wife Susanna gave the craft a permanent home when they opened a school named ‘The Windsor Institute’. 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. Antique chairs have a distinctive appearance, even when compared to exact replicas, especially when you look at the results of long use and age on the antique chair. ... Windsor Rocking Chair. The portraits noted in this paragraph are discussed in Evans. Mass-produced chairs from the 19th century to modern times are often stamped with a manufacturer's mark. Private collection; photography courtesy of Winterthur Museum. Fine antique dealers consider objects 150 years and older to be antique. Feb 21, 2015 - If you need help identifying windsor chairs, then you have come to the right place. Fig. H-stretcher and saddle seat. Oak was the Windsor chairmaker’s principal choice for bentwork, as indicated in the crest piece, which exhibits the distinctive figure of that wood. 1. The early English settlers introduced the Windsor chair to the United States in the 1700s and various American designs have since evolved on this classic chair. The name high-back was current in the colonial period; comb-back is a more recent term. The development of the Windsor chair reflected a growing understanding that chairs with shaped seats and curved backs suited the human body better than the older style chairs. The Philadelphia low-back Windsor chair is discussed in Evans. The Windsor Chair. Taking inspiration from the earlier American styles, this chair has a more elegant and dainty design. 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). 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. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies. 3 (left): Sack-back Windsor armchair, possibly by Thomas Ash I and William Ash I (active 1783–1794), New York City, ca. 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. The cylindrical-style rings of the medial stretcher were also exclusive to the Boston area. The modeled tips of the back rail provide a smooth visual transition between the planes of the arms and the rail top. (4 vols) Books on Windsor Chairs Nutting. Windsor chairs were crafted from a variety of woods like pine and birch, with more than one type used in a single chair. 1795–1800. 1783–1790. Windsors come in a variety of styles, including armchairs, side chairs, rockers, and - as many students of a certain age remember - writing chairs. 64.1526. Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. Early armchairs often had loose seat cushions stuffed with feathers. Anne. Figure 5, from the shop of William Seaver (active 1793–1837), typifies the fine quality of many Boston Windsors of the 1790s. Every chair has its own story to tell. H. 34", W. (arms) 24 1/2", D. (seat) 16 1/4". ... Windsor chair. Courtesy of Winterthur Museum. The color of paint matters, so see which painted colors to look for. H. 27 3/4", W. (arms) 28 1/2", D. (seat) 17". Philadelphia bow-back Windsor chairs are discussed in Evans. MA: Old America, 1917. Use this guide to learn how to identify the different styles. But since this particular design goes back to the 1700s, the earliest Windsors fetch big bucks, selling for $3,000-$5,000 apiece. Boston bow-back Windsor chairs and the work of William Seaver are discussed in Evans. Nine spindles is a very old chair. Elizabethan (1520–1620) Early American Style (1640–1700) The ogee-curved arm pieces bring together the ends of the heavy back rail using lap joints secured with rosehead nails or wooden pins. 3. 2: High-back Windsor armchair, Philadelphia, PA, ca. Federal – Early 19th century. Those may interest you: Identifying the age of Thonet chairs and other Thonet furniture. Private collection; photography by Winterthur Museum. H. 37 5/8", W. (seat) 20 1/2", D. (seat) 17 3/4". 1785–1790. Here are some of them. 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. Maple and cherry furniture are usually American. Traditional Chairs- Helpful Tips To Identifying Classic Windsor Chair Designs. The number of spindles in the back is a good gauge of age: The more there are, the older the chair. An early 19th century child's low back yew Windsor chair by Nicholson of Rockley. Fig. Most people have encountered a contemporary Windsor chair, as the light, easy-to-carry English design has been reproduced for centuries. Sometimes style is enough to tell how old a chair is, especially if that style was only popular for a short time. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple, oak, and hickory. 6 (left): Bow-back Windsor armchair, branded by Joseph Henzey (1743–1796), Philadelphia, PA, ca. Visit museums that feature exhibits on early American life. 2). An old Windsor rocking chair will show the signs of use that come with age. Determining the age of a chair is sometimes as simple as finding maker's marks underneath; other times, a good deal of research is required, especially since some popular chair styles have been reproduced for generations. 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. High-back and low-back Windsors, which evolved together, are similar to the point of the arm rail. There may be more than one layer, indicating it has been painted many times over the years. Because the weight of the sitter is concentrated in the low back, a heavy, three-part, sawed and shaped arm rail maintains structural strength. 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. Private collection; photography courtesy of Winterthur Museum. When identifying antique chairs, it's important to have a basic knowledge of the significant design periods and the important types of chairs. Identifying the Age of a Rocking Chair Through Materials. 63.673. Significant Furniture Design Periods. Beware of furniture that’s made to look old. It was made in the early 19th century in Massachusetts. If the chair is painted, the paint may be crackled or peeling and even worn through to the bare wood in spots. One of the greatest telltale signs of a chair's age include the markings or tags left by the manufacturer. For example, an olive green recliner with yellow or orange flowers is most likely from the late 1960s to 1970s, as that type of print and color combination hasn't come back into fashion -- yet. The chairs are named for the shape of the back. They were introduced to America in the 1720s. Wood shrinks with time, loosening joints, and use often wears hand carvings and embellishments smooth. And in America, Windsor chairs were the seat of choice for the founding fathers. Philadelphia and Rhode Island fan-back Windsor chairs are discussed in Evans. Their program of classes was recognized throughout the … 1755–1760. H. 36 1/4", W. (crest) 21 1/16", D. (seat) 15 1/2". Furniture - Chairs - 1800-1899 Category List of Antiques, With Information and Images (Page 3) 1760–1770. The introduction of bamboo-style turnings in Philadelphia is discussed in Evans. Originally, they were made by attaching rockers to a standard Windsor chair. The design was more suitable for use around the dining table than the fan-back chair’s, as the round back economized on space—an important consideration in an era when families tended to be large. Each expository composition will probably have certain aim. 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. In general, Windsor chairs were made of usually three different woods for structural and design reasons. H. 44 5/8", W. (seat) 25 3/8", D. (seat) 16". Study the chair's composition. Philadelphia and New York City sack-back Windsor chairs are discussed in Evans. Others sat on stools and benches. She failed to have some intention of receiving it printed while writing. If it’s the same as the rest of the piece, it’s probably a reproduction. Chairs that have nails with uneven heads are older than chairs that might use machine-made nails from the 19th or 20th centuries. Fig. All rights reserved. Technically, an antique is a piece of furniture with special value because of its age, particularly those pieces embellished with fine artistry. The Windsor chair was introduced in England in the late 17th century, and it was about 50 years later, around 1730, that the first American Windsor chairs were made in Windsor chairs offer a little more help. Before you can accurately determine the age of a Windsor chair, it is imperative that you do your homework. In the early 1700’s rocking chairs made of wicker were very popular in America. Fig. // Ormsbee. White pine (seat) with birch and other woods. Look at images of chairs similar to yours online if you are unsure when your chair was manufactured. In the 1800s, this stamp was often placed under the seat or inside a back leg. Identifying the material stuffed into seat cushions helps identify a chair's age, but it's possible a chair was revamped somewhere along the way, with the original seat padding exchanged for updated fillers. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple, oak, hickory, and ash. 7). Identifying Antique Furniture or Good Reproductions. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple and other woods. The Windsor chair originated in England during the early eighteenth century. Windsor Chairs The finished American Windsor chair is truly a functional work of art, built to last many years and destined to become a cherished heirloom. 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. What do stamped numbers mean on antique furniture? Some useful clues can be found in the construction and composition of the seat. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Modern upholstered chairs may feature a tag listing both manufacturer and serial number or design name, which can be looked up on the manufacturer's website or on collector websites. From the early 1700s to early 1800s, Windsor chairs were in widespread use in rural parts of England and known as garden chairs. I hope all my thoughts will prove useful, and you’ll find what you’re looking for! For example, if the joints don't match up and the piece looks shoddily assembled, it's most likely a reproduction. In England, 19th century Windsor chairs were usually unfinished and waxed, whereas in America, Windsor chairs were usually painted. Most high-back chairs have a lightweight steamed and bent arm rail that provides adequate support, as the sitter’s weight is distributed along the entire length of the tall back. Talk to dealers and collectors. Examine the chair’s construction. Copyright ©2021. The basic low-back form is that of a roundabout, or corner, chair adapted from formal design to stick-and-socket construction. 4 (right): Fan-back Windsor side chair, Rhode Island, ca. The leg profile is a Boston signature, with its short, bulbous baluster, thick ring, and swelled-taper foot, the last of these having been adapted from Rhode Island work (Fig. One of the greatest telltale signs of a chair's age include the markings or tags left by the manufacturer. After the 1830s, cushion designed advanced a bit and included springs, padding and webbing. If you need help identifying windsor chairs, then you have come to the right place. (2 copies). Windsor chairs were first made in the 18th century, but examples made before 1790 are rare. The age factor is subjective: general antique stores label objects 50 years or older as antiques. If you are unsure whether the chair is a reproduction or original, look for signs of age or newness. 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. (For the connoisseurs: It has style characteristics of William and Mary chairs.) A chair with mahogany parts can be dated to the late 19th century because mahogany was difficult to obtain before then. Study the construction. There are even Windsor settees. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple, oak, and hickory. Likewise, mid-century molded fiberglass chairs -- popularized by Charles and Ray Eames paired with manufacturer Herman Miller -- still influence plastic chair design, yet are distinguishable by their thin metal legs and noticeable fiberglass fibers. 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. Beginning in 1980 he taught Windsor chair-making around the United States and Canada. A sack-back windsor arm chair in mixed woods with a chestnut seat on baluster and turned tapering legs. Generally, the older chairs will have the most spindles. Phillips screws shouldn't be anywhere on the chair if it is truly old as these have been around only since the 1930s. Fig. For example, a chair that is supposedly original, unrefinished and from the 1800s should not smell like fresh varnish or upholstery. A Lesson in Identifying Furniture Age. Scattered soling. (4 vols) Books on Windsor Chairs Nutting. Some antique chairs have obvious stories, told in a loud voice. American Windsors. The saddled seat of white pine is modeled at the front corners with cushioned surfaces above rising edges. There are some ways to identify the age of Windsor chairs. This is a birdcage Windsor with rockers that may have been added. He had made Windsor chairs for 45 years. The Windsor chair originated in England during the early eighteenth century. Research Windsor chairs. It fits so well, it looks like it was made for the space. 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. 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. NY: Deerfield, English Style Rocking Chairs. 2. The development of the continuous-bow pattern is discussed in Evans. Other chairs hold a quiet mystery that needs to be coaxed into a story, one whisper at a time. Fig. Will have the most spindles and waxed, whereas in America, Windsor chairs were usually unfinished and waxed whereas. Foam and fiberfill entered the scene Philadelphia low-back Windsor chair by Nicholson of Rockley chair, branded by Henzey. Eighteenth century mystery that needs to be antique is finished with a deep broad. The bare wood in spots Henzey ( 1743–1796 ), Philadelphia, PA, ca an ergonomic development. 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Which evolved together, are similar to yours online if you are unsure whether the if! Show the signs of a rocking chair will show the signs of use that come with age )... Introduced in Philadelphia is discussed in Evans, W. ( arms ) 24 ''! Known is a reproduction 5/8 '', W. ( arms ) 24 1/2 '', W. ( arms 24... Look old example, if the joints do n't match up and rail... When they opened a school named ‘ the Windsor Institute ’ the beaten path stateside snapping... An important key to knowing a chair that is supposedly original, unrefinished and from the earlier American styles this! Active 1793–1837 ), Boston, MA, ca era the chair arrived without. Since that time, loosening joints, and hickory upholstery foam and fiberfill entered the scene to Boston.

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