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The Windsor : A peek at the past

86 Vintage

Posted on April 07 2016

The Windsor style chair originated in the 17th and 18th century in the vicinity of Windsor, England. Legend has it that while hunting, King George III discovered the chair at a cottage when seeking shelter from a storm. So impressed by the "stick" chair's comfort and simplicity, he later asked his furniture maker to duplicate it for Windsor Castle.  And so the term "Windsor" chair.  The chairs became very popular garden chairs at the time, painted green, and left to weather. 

In America, the chair was first used in Philadelphia, where it was very popular around the time of the Revolution. It is said that Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence while sitting in one, and you see them in imagery of the founding fathers at the Continental Congress. 

The height of popularity of the American Windsor chair or "golden age" was between 1720 and 1860. However, it has always been a staple of country furniture, and received regular bouts of renewed interest, particularly in the 1910s and the 1980s. 

The style is seen in many fashions (fan-back, bow back, brace back, comb back), but they all consist of a multiple spindle back attached to a solid sculpted seat with splayed legs and a slightly reclining back. 

antique bow back Windsor chair with tail brace antique Windsor rocking chair

 

A classic chair! 

 

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