Introduced in Philadelphia in the mid-1780s, the new pattern was being made in all production centers within a few years. American Windsors. 1. 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. H. 44 5/8", W. (seat) 25 3/8", D. (seat) 16". Traditionally, the legs and uprights were usually turned on a pole lathe. Technically, an antique is a piece of furniture with special value because of its age, particularly those pieces embellished with fine artistry. Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple and other woods. ... Windsor Rocking Chair. If it’s the same as the rest of the piece, it’s probably a reproduction. Here are some of them. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple and oak. An example of an English or Victorian style rocking chair is the Windsor. 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 The Philadelphia high-back Windsor chair is discussed in Evans. The Windsor Chair. White pine (seat) with birch and other woods. There may be more than one layer, indicating it has been painted many times over the years. Use this guide to learn how to identify the different styles. Some useful clues can be found in the construction and composition of the seat. Boston bow-back Windsor chairs and the work of William Seaver are discussed in Evans. Fine antique dealers consider objects 150 years and older to be antique. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple, oak, hickory, and ash. 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. 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. 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. A chair with mahogany parts can be dated to the late 19th century because mahogany was difficult to obtain before then. 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. William Cox bill to Stephen Girard, April 28, 1786, Girard Papers, Girard College, Philadelphia, PA (microfilm, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia). Windsor Chairs, An Illustrated Handbook, by Wallace Nutting [leading New England authority], 1917. An old Windsor rocking chair will show the signs of use that come with age. Most people have encountered a contemporary Windsor chair, as the light, easy-to-carry English design has been reproduced for centuries. Study the construction. The earliest American Windsor chair known is a red-painted Philadelphia example that dates from about 1720. Before you can accurately determine the age of a Windsor chair, it is imperative that you do your homework. Fig. Philadelphia and New York City sack-back Windsor chairs are discussed in Evans. The bread and butter of the Windsor trade in the 1790s was the bow-back side chair (Fig. Windsor chairs were an ergonomic design development in their day. 2. 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. Look at images of chairs similar to yours online if you are unsure when your chair was manufactured. The chairs are named for the shape of the back. She failed to have some intention of receiving it printed while writing. Philadelphia and Rhode Island fan-back Windsor chairs are discussed in Evans. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple, oak, and hickory. One of the greatest telltale signs of a chair's age include the markings or tags left by the manufacturer. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple, oak, and hickory. Identifying the Age of a Rocking Chair Through Materials. If you need help identifying windsor chairs, then you have come to the right place. For example, if the joints don't match up and the piece looks shoddily assembled, it's most likely a reproduction. One of the greatest telltale signs of a chair's age include the markings or tags left by the manufacturer. In the 1900s, synthetic materials such as upholstery foam and fiberfill entered the scene. Windsor chairs are still being made in the traditional way today. AntiquesandFineArt.com. Some antique chairs have obvious stories, told in a loud voice. In England, 19th century Windsor chairs were usually unfinished and waxed, whereas in America, Windsor chairs were usually painted. Watch Ph.D. antiques appraiser Dr. Lori show you how to identify and value a painted Windsor chair from the 1800s. 1760–1770. 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. Furniture - Chairs - 1800-1899 Category List of Antiques, With Information and Images (Page 3) If the chair is painted, the paint may be crackled or peeling and even worn through to the bare wood in spots. Because the weight of the sitter is concentrated in the low back, a heavy, three-part, sawed and shaped arm rail maintains structural strength. 7). 3. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. I hope all my thoughts will prove useful, and you’ll find what you’re looking for! For example, a chair that is supposedly original, unrefinished and from the 1800s should not smell like fresh varnish or upholstery. They were introduced to America in the 1720s. H. 36 1/4", W. (crest) 21 1/16", D. (seat) 15 1/2". Copyright ©2021. 1790–1800. February 8, 2016. From the early 1700s to early 1800s, Windsor chairs were in widespread use in rural parts of England and known as garden chairs. The age factor is subjective: general antique stores label objects 50 years or older as antiques. Fig. Private collection; photography by Winterthur Museum. The ogee-curved arm pieces bring together the ends of the heavy back rail using lap joints secured with rosehead nails or wooden pins. A Lesson in Identifying Furniture Age. High-back and low-back Windsors, which evolved together, are similar to the point of the arm rail. 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. Talk to dealers and collectors. Those may interest you: Identifying the age of Thonet chairs and other Thonet furniture. Following area work, the bow face is finished with a deep, broad channel. 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. H-stretcher and saddle seat. 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). The Windsor chair originated in England during the early eighteenth century. Generally, the older chairs will have the most spindles. Each expository composition will probably have certain aim. Examine the chair’s construction. Maple and cherry furniture are usually American. The chair has evolved greatly since that time, with numerous styles and materials from which to choose. In pre-Revolutionary years Philadelphia work commonly contained carved crest terminals with large volutes resembling those in formal Queen Anne chairs. Windsor chairs offer a little more help. Private collection; photography courtesy of Winterthur Museum. Nine spindles is a very old chair. 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. 2: High-back Windsor armchair, Philadelphia, PA, ca. English Style Rocking Chairs. “The chair arrived yesterday without any problems and I am absolutely satisfied! A sack-back windsor arm chair in mixed woods with a chestnut seat on baluster and turned tapering legs. Private collection; photography courtesy of Winterthur Museum. It was made in the early 19th century in Massachusetts. MA: Old America, 1917. The name high-back was current in the colonial period; comb-back is a more recent term. Early armchairs often had loose seat cushions stuffed with feathers. 6 (left): Bow-back Windsor armchair, branded by Joseph Henzey (1743–1796), Philadelphia, PA, ca. All rights reserved. Clues can indicate the date that a chair … The first name associated with the new form was “Forest Chair.” Nancy Goyne Evans. Chairs as we know them have been around since at least the 1700s. Jan 19, 2015 - There are many different types of antique chairs, and each has a unique appearance. 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. 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. 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. Sometimes style is enough to tell how old a chair is, especially if that style was only popular for a short time. Beware of furniture that’s made to look old. 1755–1760. The portraits noted in this paragraph are discussed in Evans. Research Windsor chairs. What do stamped numbers mean on antique furniture? Antique furniture styles are still in use today and many reproductions exist. The Windsor chair originated in England during the early eighteenth century. Visit museums that feature exhibits on early American life. Windsor chairs were crafted from a variety of woods like pine and birch, with more than one type used in a single chair. The color of paint matters, so see which painted colors to look for. 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. Fig. But since this particular design goes back to the 1700s, the earliest Windsors fetch big bucks, selling for $3,000-$5,000 apiece. Oak was the Windsor chairmaker’s principal choice for bentwork, as indicated in the crest piece, which exhibits the distinctive figure of that wood. Chairs that have nails with uneven heads are older than chairs that might use machine-made nails from the 19th or 20th centuries. The introduction of bamboo-style turnings in Philadelphia is discussed in Evans. Philadelphia bow-back Windsor chairs are discussed in Evans. 1785–1790. Check the bottoms of chairs and drawers to look for different wood types. The Philadelphia low-back Windsor chair is discussed in Evans. 4 (right): Fan-back Windsor side chair, Rhode Island, ca. Their program of classes was recognized throughout the … Taking inspiration from the earlier American styles, this chair has a more elegant and dainty design. 1: Low-back Windsor armchair, Philadelphia, PA, ca. Traditional Chairs- Helpful Tips To Identifying Classic Windsor Chair Designs. Scattered soling. And in America, Windsor chairs were the seat of choice for the founding fathers. The development of the continuous-bow pattern is discussed in Evans. 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. Federal – Early 19th century. The cylindrical-style rings of the medial stretcher were also exclusive to the Boston area. After the 1830s, cushion designed advanced a bit and included springs, padding and webbing. Other chairs hold a quiet mystery that needs to be coaxed into a story, one whisper at a time. 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. 5). Windsor chairs were first made in the 18th century, but examples made before 1790 are rare. 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. 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