Featured Continuous Armrest Windsor Chair: Frankenstein or just refinished?

Discussion in 'Furniture' started by Robert Welles, May 21, 2020.

  1. Robert Welles

    Robert Welles Member

    This was inherited and I know little about it. It is definitely "refinished," maybe was painted at one time, not sure if originally. Card affixed to bottom says "Mr. William C. Lee." Owner of chair or maker - no idea. Turned legs look like they may have been replaced if this is really old - they look machined, but I don't know. The continuous armrest had been broken and is plated underneath. Where the legs penetrate the seat, it appears there are very fine, maybe brass shims used to tighten the joints. Not sure if this is a cobbled-together older chair seat and back.

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  2. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

  3. patd8643

    patd8643 Well-Known Member

    Agree, nice Windsor. Nice lines.
    It was not unusual to use little wedges to tighten things up.
    Legs may be original. They could turn legs early on.
     
    pearlsnblume likes this.
  4. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Wood wedges are common on handmade Windsor chairs, even today. This could be old, late 18th-19th century, if American it almost certainly was painted originally.
     
  5. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

  6. BaseballGames

    BaseballGames Well-Known Member

    We have zero insights on your chair, but must acknowledge the coolest avatar on the board. :)
     
    Robert Welles likes this.
  7. Robert Welles

    Robert Welles Member

    Hello, I guess I meant from "inherit" meaning we didn't buy it, so we don't have any story. It was my mother-in-law's and most likely she bought it. I do know a lot of my ancestry, including the fellow that surveyed the line dividing Virginia from North Carolina, but I don't think there is a Lee in the bunch.
     
  8. Robert Welles

    Robert Welles Member

    Ah, will Gilbert Perreault is definitely an antique if the definition is older than fifty years. I'm not sure he'd like that, but he is a much-revered part of my past.
     
  9. Robert Welles

    Robert Welles Member

    Thanks much James. You may recall you helped identify my "supposed John Alden blanket chest." Many thanks for your input.
     
    James Conrad likes this.
  10. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    I dimly remember the name but the details escape me.
    It's difficult if not impossible to date furniture for certain with photographs alone, a general range of dates is about the best you can do.
    On your chair we can't see if the legs are machine turned or turned with a pole lathe, ditto the spindles, are they carved (knifed) with a spokeshave or done by machine.
    The camera just misses these details that are quite easy to see in person.
    Additionally, there are master chairmakers today that build exactly as they did in the 18th century, right down to riving (splitting logs into chair parts) the wood.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020 at 5:48 PM
  11. Robert Welles

    Robert Welles Member

    I will examine the spindles for such things as flats left from a knife. Not sure what to look for on the legs, but those looked like machined to my uneducated eyes.
     
  12. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

    So if there were any Lee's they would be on her side, not yours, if it was from the family.
     
  13. Jeff Drum

    Jeff Drum Well-Known Member

    This is a very nice late 18th century Continuous Arm Windsor. No evidence that it has been messed with or parts replaced, other than the brass shims (to tighten legs) and plates under the arm. Most likely made in New York. Unfortunately continuous arm windsors very often have broken hoops like this one does, and that affects desirability, but at least they kept the original parts. Also too bad that the original paint is gone, but it does look like there are some vestiges of the original green paint with probably an over layer of red, which is nice to see. You are sometimes lucky to find one of these old windsors with a makers stamp; I assume there isn't one, but may be worth looking under the label if you can peek without removing. Nice chair!
     
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