Featured Chair test - who can guess the closest to when it was made?

Discussion in 'Furniture' started by Jeff Drum, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Jeff Drum

    Jeff Drum Well-Known Member

    First of all, all great guesses. When you go to an auction, you have an expert interpreting what you are looking at. The experts aren't always right, and they have a tendency to overlook repairs and other "issues". But when you buy out in the wild, you are on your own and need to base it on the evidence you see. Which is why I find it a lot more fun, and potentially rewarding (though obviously not always!).

    For this chair I immediately liked it, but saw a lot of clues pointing in different directions. I considered everything from late 1700's to mid 1900's as I looked at this chair. The seat is paper rush, so that has to be 20th century. On the other hand, cane and rush are very often replaced in old chairs, so that isn't definitive.

    The paint looks old and 19th century. Black paint was common in mid to late 19th century chairs. Seemed that mid to late 19th century was most likely, even though the turnings looked earlier to me - and that left me unsettled. So that was as far as I took it before I put it in my basement to be puzzled over later. (Should I mention that I have a LOT of puzzles hiding in my basement)?

    There was a post here on the forum about Sussex chairs several months ago https://www.antiquers.com/threads/anyone-ever-heard-of-william-morris.37954/#post-617493. When I read the post, it immediately looked familiar to me, and I went down to look at my chair. I thought that was the answer. It is certainly similar in many ways, the stick style, finials, paint, unusual curve of the arms. On the other hand, many differences too - spindles, legs, stretchers and arm attachment were quite different. I couldn't find a Morris-made or Morris-inspired chair that matched mine, but that must be it. My conclusion was that this had to be a chair inspired by the Morris Sussex chair (pic below), made in late 1800's. (Morris chair made from 1864 to 1911, and various copies made in that time up to the present).

    BUT, that isn't the end of the story YET (see next post).
  2. Christmasjoy

    Christmasjoy Well-Known Member

    WHO WON ?????? .....
    kyratango, cxgirl, Aquitaine and 3 others like this.
  3. pearlsnblume

    pearlsnblume Well-Known Member

    Yeah what Joy said.
    kyratango, cxgirl, Aquitaine and 3 others like this.
  4. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    Geez you type slow, Jeff.
  5. Jeff Drum

    Jeff Drum Well-Known Member

    So I had a chair that seemed to be mid to late 19th century, but with earlier looking spindles and stretcher. There it waited, hiding in my basement again.

    Now I really like old painted furniture, so it is something that I am always trying to find out more about. I posted a few days ago about a chair I found recently, and as part of that came across a great article by Nancy Goyne Evans on chipstone.org. http://www.chipstone.org/images.php/216/American-Furniture-1996/Frog-Backs-and-Turkey-Legs:-The-Nomenclature-of-Vernacular-Seating-Furniture,-1740–1850 Interesting article, glancing through the pictures - BANG! That looks familiar? I needed to make another trip to the basement, and that was it!

    This was the side-chair version of my armchair, part of the Winterthur museum collection: "Figure 22 Spindle-back fancy side chair with Cumberland spindles, New York City, 1800–1815. Maple, birch, and yellow poplar (microanalysis). H. 35", W. 19", D. 15 3/4". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)"

    Has anyone ever heard of Cumberland spindles? I certainly never had, but I guess this is what those distinctive spindles are called. Lots of close calls, but I have to say the overall winner is Aquitaine with this amazing "wild guess": "New York, somewhere around 1800 or newer". Now who was going to send us all some Werthers Original soft caramels to snack on?? (I'm hungry after all that FAST typing)
  6. Christmasjoy

    Christmasjoy Well-Known Member

  7. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly STAY SAFE The worst prison is a closed heart


    Funny, I've just been snacking on some Thorntons Special Toffee Treacle that's gone soft because it's been open so long. Sorry though....it's almost gone.
  8. pearlsnblume

    pearlsnblume Well-Known Member

    well I said Long Guyland which is part of NY and I said 1888, so... oh well
    Aqui I tip my hat to you on your most wonderful guess.
    I am not a fan of those candies mentioned, but you all enjoy.
  9. Michael77

    Michael77 Well-Known Member

    Congratulations Aquitaine! you did great guessing. :)

    Fun post Jeff, now were all waiting to see some of your other basement puzzles!
  10. Christmasjoy

    Christmasjoy Well-Known Member

  11. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Very close match with some very minor differences. Looks to be definitive. I might say that the Sussex chair dates back quite a bit further than William Morris and his and other late 19th century versions were copies. After my guess, I took a closer look at Sussex chairs and found this one. From England and said to be early 20th century.

    I think yours to be a closer match but have to think the American version was inspired by the English.
    Ghopper1924, kyratango, judy and 5 others like this.
  12. Christmasjoy

    Christmasjoy Well-Known Member

    CONGRATULATIONS AQUITAINE !!! ... :):):):):) ... Joy.

    ( :bigtears::inpain::arghh::depressed::jawdrop::bigtears: ) ... :sorry: .. Joy.
  13. Christmasjoy

    Christmasjoy Well-Known Member

    Just kidding of course !!! ... :):):)
  14. pearlsnblume

    pearlsnblume Well-Known Member

    I am kidding too.:p
    kyratango, judy and i need help like this.
  15. Christmasjoy

    Christmasjoy Well-Known Member

    I MEANT the congrats !!! ... kidding about the poor loser smilies .. gotta lay down ..
    kyratango and judy like this.
  16. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

    For closer comparison.

    kyratango, judy and cxgirl like this.
  17. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    JUST kidding.....it was a lot of fun.....and I was kind of basing my guess on many of all of your answers......picking something that hadn't already been said!!!!! I can also sometimes be WAAAY off the mark!!!!:rolleyes::rolleyes: So, to me, a LUCKY guess!!!!
    kyratango, judy, Christmasjoy and 3 others like this.
  18. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Wait a minute, Aqui's guess was 1800 or newer.
    Jeff's chair bears closest resemblance to the chair Brad posted, which was said to be English, early 20th century. Brad thinks Jeff's chair is possibly an American copy of the English one, so slightly later at the earliest.
    Where it was made still seems to be a mystery.
    Sure, early 20th century is covered by the 'newer' in Aqui's '1800 or newer'.;) Sort of. Ish.:shifty:

    But others named a date closer to early 20th century:
    - evelyb mentioned 1890, with motivation, the wear on the feet which was more consistent with her estimate than with an earlier date.
    - busryde guessed late 19th-early 20th century.
    - cluttered guessed possibly WWI and said later "It might be as late as the 20s early 30s."
    - Brad had already mentioned 1890 before he found the early 20th century English chair.

    In all fairness, they were all closer to the mark than Aqui was. Sorry Aqui.:( (I will now flagellate myself :sorry:)
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  19. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    But, but.... Jeff posted that his chair is the armed version of an 1800-1815 chair in the Winterthur Museum that the Museum says was made in New York City. And I don't think he's changed his mind about that date and place on the strength of other opinions expressed in this thread.
    Jeff Drum likes this.
  20. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    HEY,!!!!! I'm good with whatever!!!!! I just like my duck that I found!!! Go ahead....take my prize, sob...sob..away...I'll be fine....I'm just balancing on top of this bridge cable...sob...whilst y'all...sob...decide...:(:(:dead::dead::(...:p:p:p:p:p:p
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