Sunday, February 3, 2013

Windsor Chairs and Benches

I'm a big fan of the Windsor style. The form is simple, yet graceful, and there seems to be an unlimited amount of variation and interpretation yielding magnificent results. The first Windsor chairs were made in England in the 16th century, but did not come into widespread popularity until the mid 18th century in America. Windsors of the 18th century were often brightly painted in cheerful tones of yellow, green, and red. Variations in form include bowback, fanback, braceback, birdcage, thumbback, continuous arm, and the list goes on. Windsor seating carried through to benches as well- with the range of styles being translated into multi person options.
       Built to last, the chairs were made by skilled craftsman out of multiple types of wood- often pine for the seat, ash for the bow, maple for the turned legs. The individual parts were put together while still green, and then the entire form would dry and shrink together, making the chair strong and tight.
Well cared for Windsor chairs can last centuries and still readily support the weight of a large person.  Windsor chairs remained popular through the first half of the 19th century until the more fussy Victorian designs overshadowed the clean lines of the Windsor. The Colonial Revival of the 1920s brought a renewed interest in the Windsor chair, and the original 18th century pieces were highly prized, while reproduction pieces, made by Wallace Nutting and others flooded the market to supplement the small supply of antique chairs.
Today, Windsor chairs and benches are still wildly popular, both new, vintage, and antique. Because of their elegant retrained design, they fit as well in a modern urban loft as in an 18th century cape.
A beautiful black Windsor bench looks so cool with a wild faux bois floor.

Beautifully designed space that displays this Windsor bench as a work of art.

Lovely comeback Windsor with finely carved ears and well turned legs.

In its original paint, this Windsor chair looks so organic against the background of a 19th century grain painted chest.
Of course we can't forget my new red Windsor bench!

A simple and modest firehouse Windsor in a stunning rustic setting.

The turned spindles on this Windsor bench are impossibly delicate. So breathtaking.

A bevy of birdcage Windsors cluster around a farm table in this cheerful country kitchen

A fabulous mid century modern spin on the Windsor chair here.

I love love love these white Windsors in this awesome dining room.
A few years ago I picked up this pair of mid 19th century firehouse Windsor off the side of the road. They have early 20th century floral paint over their original red.

A combination of fanback and sack back Windsors look so harmonious together in this dining room.

1 comment:

  1. Hire wooden chair, event chair, chiavari chair, led bar, vintage chair, artificial tree, eames chair for Weddings, reception parties, Corporate Events, special occasions or Shows.