Common Chairs in the Early American Colonial FurnitureThe History of the Origin of the Design Period Known as Early American Colonial Furniture


Plate XXVII

Lyre-back chair

Open Back Chair (Second Half of Seventeenth Century)

"X" Shaped Chair

"X" Shaped Chair

Ladder Back Chair Circa 1660

Ladder Back Chair Circa 1660

Windsor Chair Circa 1710

Windsor Chair Circa 1710

In the north, the spindles were sometimes arranged in rows and tiers, and these are called "spindle backs".

The serviceable strength and hard-wearing qualities of the Windsor chair has led to its mode of construction being adopted and adapted for all kinds of purposes, and today enormous numbers are produced, not only for house use, but for business premises, schools, halls, churches, institutes, etc.

Things to do:

  1. If you are interested in small, delicate craft-work, begin to make a set of models illustrating the historical development of chairs.
  2. Include in your sets of drawings, those of chair details: legs, rails and stretchers, whole backs, panels, splats, crestings, arms. Keep these arranged in historical order and date where possible (most museums now date as accurately as possible the pieces they show) ; the dated items will help you to date your own undated items.
  3. Try to trace the "influences" which determined the construction of the chairs in your own home.
  4. Remember that old churches are the happy hunting-ground of students of seats and chairs. Remember that they are churches and that it is usually easy to ask permission, especially if you wish to use a camera. If you are drawing detail, a poppy head or a piece of arcading, etc., let your drawing be exact, and put in at least one principal measurement.
  5. Begin a biographical notebook. If it is loose-leaf, so much the better. You will then be able to build it up in true historical order. Make a note first of all the persons mentioned in this book, note their exact dates and the way in which they had to do with furniture.
  6. Begin a tool notebook. The story of the development of tools will lead you from the stone scraper of the earliest Stone Age to the electrically controlled power presses, etc., of the modern engineering works.

We can make and design all the furniture mentioned on this page and we will ship it anywhere in the world.

Related Sites

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