Private collection; photography by Winterthur Museum. What do stamped numbers mean on antique furniture? Introduced in Philadelphia in the mid-1780s, the new pattern was being made in all production centers within a few years. The bread and butter of the Windsor trade in the 1790s was the bow-back side chair (Fig. 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. Those may interest you: Identifying the age of Thonet chairs and other Thonet furniture. The ogee-curved arm pieces bring together the ends of the heavy back rail using lap joints secured with rosehead nails or wooden pins. Courtesy of Winterthur Museum. 1. William Cox bill to Stephen Girard, April 28, 1786, Girard Papers, Girard College, Philadelphia, PA (microfilm, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia). An example of an English or Victorian style rocking chair is the Windsor. A sack-back windsor arm chair in mixed woods with a chestnut seat on baluster and turned tapering legs. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies. Phillips screws shouldn't be anywhere on the chair if it is truly old as these have been around only since the 1930s. American Windsors. The basic low-back form is that of a roundabout, or corner, chair adapted from formal design to stick-and-socket construction. Fine antique dealers consider objects 150 years and older to be antique. Because the weight of the sitter is concentrated in the low back, a heavy, three-part, sawed and shaped arm rail maintains structural strength. Beware of furniture that’s made to look old. The earliest American Windsor chair known is a red-painted Philadelphia example that dates from about 1720. Talk to dealers and collectors. Nine spindles is a very old chair. (4 vols) Books on Windsor Chairs Nutting. 1790–1800. An old Windsor rocking chair will show the signs of use that come with age. 1760–1770. Visit museums that feature exhibits on early American life. Originally, they were made by attaching rockers to a standard Windsor chair. Boston bow-back Windsor chairs and the work of William Seaver are discussed in Evans. The cylindrical-style rings of the medial stretcher were also exclusive to the Boston area. Fig. H-stretcher and saddle seat. Taking inspiration from the earlier American styles, this chair has a more elegant and dainty design. In the 1800s, this stamp was often placed under the seat or inside a back leg. 6 (left): Bow-back Windsor armchair, branded by Joseph Henzey (1743–1796), Philadelphia, PA, ca. Identifying Antique Furniture or Good Reproductions. In the 1900s, synthetic materials such as upholstery foam and fiberfill entered the scene. Philadelphia and New York City sack-back Windsor chairs are discussed in Evans. Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. Sometimes style is enough to tell how old a chair is, especially if that style was only popular for a short time. Windsor chairs offer a little more help. Technically, an antique is a piece of furniture with special value because of its age, particularly those pieces embellished with fine artistry. The color of paint matters, so see which painted colors to look for. Private collection; photography courtesy of Winterthur Museum. Wood shrinks with time, loosening joints, and use often wears hand carvings and embellishments smooth. The number of spindles in the back is a good gauge of age: The more there are, the older the chair. 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. 1755–1760. Fig. 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. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple and other woods. Private collection; photography courtesy of Winterthur Museum. Check the bottoms of chairs and drawers to look for different wood types. 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. There are even Windsor settees. H. 27 3/4", W. (arms) 28 1/2", D. (seat) 17". Federal – Early 19th century. Traditional Chairs- Helpful Tips To Identifying Classic Windsor Chair Designs. 7). 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. 2. An early 19th century child's low back yew Windsor chair by Nicholson of Rockley. Windsor chairs were an ergonomic design development in their day. An important key to knowing a chair's story is finding its age. Significant Furniture Design Periods. In pre-Revolutionary years Philadelphia work commonly contained carved crest terminals with large volutes resembling those in formal Queen Anne chairs. 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. 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. 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 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. Following area work, the bow face is finished with a deep, broad channel. 5: Bow-back Windsor side chair, branded by William Seaver (active 1793–1837), Boston, MA, ca. Some useful clues can be found in the construction and composition of the seat. There are some ways to identify the age of Windsor chairs. Before you can accurately determine the age of a Windsor chair, it is imperative that you do your homework. The saddled seat of white pine is modeled at the front corners with cushioned surfaces above rising edges. From the early 1700s to early 1800s, Windsor chairs were in widespread use in rural parts of England and known as garden chairs. 2). (2 copies). Identifying the Age of a Rocking Chair Through Materials. This is a birdcage Windsor with rockers that may have been added. Windsors come in a variety of styles, including armchairs, side chairs, rockers, and - as many students of a certain age remember - writing chairs. Private collection; photography courtesy of Winterthur Museum. On the end wall of that space this vintage breakfront secretary with bubble glass now sits. Chairs that have nails with uneven heads are older than chairs that might use machine-made nails from the 19th or 20th centuries. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Fig. And in America, Windsor chairs were the seat of choice for the founding fathers. Elizabethan (1520–1620) Early American Style (1640–1700) One of the greatest telltale signs of a chair's age include the markings or tags left by the manufacturer. In the early 1700’s rocking chairs made of wicker were very popular in America. Examine the chair’s construction. 63.673. H. 36 1/4", W. (crest) 21 1/16", D. (seat) 15 1/2". She failed to have some intention of receiving it printed while writing. After the 1830s, cushion designed advanced a bit and included springs, padding and webbing. Antique furniture styles are still in use today and many reproductions exist. Fig. Each expository composition will probably have certain aim. Others sat on stools and benches. Generally, the older chairs will have the most spindles. The chairs are named for the shape of the back. Copyright ©2021. Some antique chairs have obvious stories, told in a loud voice. (4 vols) Books on Windsor Chairs Nutting. The modeled tips of the back rail provide a smooth visual transition between the planes of the arms and the rail top. The development of the continuous-bow pattern is discussed in Evans. It fits so well, it looks like it was made for the space. Feb 21, 2015 - If you need help identifying windsor chairs, then you have come to the right place. 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 portraits noted in this paragraph are discussed in Evans. Jan 19, 2015 - There are many different types of antique chairs, and each has a unique appearance. Windsor Chairs, An Illustrated Handbook, by Wallace Nutting [leading New England authority], 1917. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple, oak, hickory, and ash. “The chair arrived yesterday without any problems and I am absolutely satisfied! Yellow poplar (seat) with maple, oak, and hickory. The age factor is subjective: general antique stores label objects 50 years or older as antiques. 5). Fig. 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). Study the chair's composition. 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. The Windsor chair originated in England during the early eighteenth century. Beginning in 1980 he taught Windsor chair-making around the United States and Canada. Use this guide to learn how to identify the different styles. 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. H. 44 5/8", W. (seat) 25 3/8", D. (seat) 16". In England, 19th century Windsor chairs were usually unfinished and waxed, whereas in America, Windsor chairs were usually painted. 4 (right): Fan-back Windsor side chair, Rhode Island, ca. Anne. The name high-back was current in the colonial period; comb-back is a more recent term. The Philadelphia high-back Windsor chair is discussed in Evans. Furniture - Chairs - 1800-1899 Category List of Antiques, With Information and Images (Page 3) For example, if the joints don't match up and the piece looks shoddily assembled, it's most likely a reproduction. 1795–1800. 1785–1790. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. 2: High-back Windsor armchair, Philadelphia, PA, ca. // Ormsbee. If the chair is painted, the paint may be crackled or peeling and even worn through to the bare wood in spots. 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. 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. 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. 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. A chair with mahogany parts can be dated to the late 19th century because mahogany was difficult to obtain before then. The first name associated with the new form was “Forest Chair.” Nancy Goyne Evans. 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. 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. February 8, 2016. H. 37 3/8", W. (seat) 17 1/2", D. (seat) 16 1/16". AntiquesandFineArt.com. 64.1526. (For the connoisseurs: It has style characteristics of William and Mary chairs.) I hope all my thoughts will prove useful, and you’ll find what you’re looking for! The Windsor chair originated in England during the early eighteenth century. 3 (left): Sack-back Windsor armchair, possibly by Thomas Ash I and William Ash I (active 1783–1794), New York City, ca. The chair has evolved greatly since that time, with numerous styles and materials from which to choose. White pine (seat) with birch and other woods. High-back and low-back Windsors, which evolved together, are similar to the point of the arm rail. The Philadelphia low-back Windsor chair is discussed in Evans. The Windsor Chair. 1: Low-back Windsor armchair, Philadelphia, PA, ca. Maple and cherry furniture are usually American. 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. A Lesson in Identifying Furniture Age. Windsor chairs are still being made in the traditional way today. Their program of classes was recognized throughout the … Scattered soling. Yellow poplar (seat) with maple, oak, and hickory. ... Windsor chair. Early armchairs often had loose seat cushions stuffed with feathers. NY: Deerfield, 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. Windsor chairs were crafted from a variety of woods like pine and birch, with more than one type used in a single chair. Philadelphia bow-back Windsor chairs are discussed in Evans. 1783–1790. H. 37 5/8", W. (seat) 20 1/2", D. (seat) 17 3/4". Fig. If you are unsure whether the chair is a reproduction or original, look for signs of age or newness. If you need help identifying windsor chairs, then you have come to the right place. In 1994 he and his wife Susanna gave the craft a permanent home when they opened a school named ‘The Windsor Institute’. H. 34", W. (arms) 24 1/2", D. (seat) 16 1/4". 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. Philadelphia and Rhode Island fan-back Windsor chairs are discussed in Evans. Oak was the Windsor chairmaker’s principal choice for bentwork, as indicated in the crest piece, which exhibits the distinctive figure of that wood. In general, Windsor chairs were made of usually three different woods for structural and design reasons. MA: Old America, 1917. ... Windsor Rocking Chair. It was made in the early 19th century in Massachusetts. 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