Monday, July 18, 2011

Have a Seat!

I've always liked interesting antique chairs.  They can be tucked anywhere and have more functions than just seating.  I have to say that--because most antique chairs are small, and may work better for stacking books than sitting.

The first chair that ever caught my eye was when I was a teenager.  (check back, I'll add the photo next week) It is a hall chair, and part of a set with a desk and a second chair.  My dad and I bought it at a Ventura County swap-meet, and my mom was MAD when we brought home that "junk".

The first chair that I purchased on my own at an estate sale was a corner chair.  Well, actually, it was round.  I liked it because it is hand-made.  I know it is probably edwardian, but the interesting part is that is was handmade probably at home by someone.  The reason I say that is that the design to the left and right of the center splat is not symmetrical.  What's not to love about a chair with a heart?
The next chair that made it home with me was one of those that makes my husband roll his eyes and say "what were you thinking?".  This one I liked because of the inlaid work.  When people ask me what I collect, I say I collect antique object that demonstrates craftmanship.

Hubby didn't like the chair--it's rickety, and has had the back broken off and reglued (poorly).  However, a doll usually sits on the chair, so it's not a problem.

Closeup of the marquetry
I then went a bit country.  The chair below is a ball and stick Victorian chair with a cane seat.
The next country chair was a pair of grain-painted chairs with the manufacturer printed on the back of the chair seat:  W.Corey, Portland, ME.  They were done in the 1850's, painted grain to look like rosewood.  It has a ribbon of gold painted on the chair.  

I had these recaned as they were broken. They were hand-caned, rather than the sheet caning.  I was told that the caning darkens with age, but I'm afraid I don't have enough years to wait.  The problem with staining is that as the chair sags, the unstained cane shows.  Why don't they stain the cane before they weave it?
The chair above is definitely my venture in the American furniture.  I love the eagle painted on the back.   It's pretty rickety, I should have it tightened.  
I keep finding chairs that have inlay.  The chair below is a wonderful sturdy chair with original horsehair stuffing.  I put a red silk on it, love it!
Note the mother-of-pearl center, and the flowers.  I loved the simple design of the back.

I saw this chair at an antique show.  It is probably 1900-1920. It is an Adam style shield-back chair.

I love the swags of handpainted flowers.

I have a pair of these chairs.   They have really tall backs.  The upholstery is needlepoint.  I'm a bit puzzled about the age of the chairs.  They are an old style that you see at auction, but the needlepoint is later.  However someone worked very hard to make the needlepoint for these chairs--the upholstery is well done.

In 2009, I picked up the cutest hall chair at Hillsborough, it has a squirrel on the back.

I apologize for the photos.  I don't seem to take good ones.  I'll try to upgrade these.  Back to the chair, isn't it whimsical with the squirrel!

So why did I write this article?  This weekend I picked up a dutch queen anne chair with marquetry that has a turtle in the back splat.

This little turtle had to come home with me.  After finding the rabbit chair, it seemed like a good excuse to get the turtle chair.  

Do you have a favorite antique chair?


  1. Hi Sheila,
    Thanks for the link to those fabulous barstools. I added it to my post and linked back to you. I almost bought them from Big Daddy too, but wasn't sure about the black. Love them in white with the burlap. Thanks again! ~Delores

  2. I thought those stools looked like something you would like. I went with some other stools, but those are the ones I keep thinking about. Great post,