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Those looking for single chairs might like to hunt for 18th Century examples, although they are extremely rare and consequently expensive.
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Windsor chairs sold from such outlets are frequently mislabelled as this is a specialist area. SS: A fantastic George II (circa 1740) Windsor chair recently sold at auction in London.
The woods used in the chair are not always correctly identified, sometimes the circa date is incorrect; sometimes repairs and restorations are not adequately described or even pointed out at all. The estimate was £10,000 - £15,000 ($14,417 - 21,625) but it sold for a hammer price of £26,000 ($37,484) plus the buyer's premium.
The legs were normally connected by a simple "H" stretcher, whereas the English Yew Wood Windsors almost always had a curved crinoline stretcher, a mark of quality craftsmanship.
The angle of joining the legs to the seat is different, with American Windsors having legs pointing out at a steeper angle than English ones. American Windsors commonly used pine for the seats, hickory for the spindles, and maple for the turned arms and legs.
LTK: Are there differences in antique European and American Windsors?
SS: Although the basic construction and build are the same, there are some notable differences. So the "splat back" style with the decorative central splat was rarely made.
To get a good restoration job done you really need to use someone who specialises in Windsor chairs, Yew wood and country woods.
Buyers should be wary of buying from antique centers, small antique shops selling a wide range items, or small independent auction houses.
I knew the dealer who the chair originally belonged to, and the client who later bought it from him in 1999. SS: Polishing with traditional antique furniture wax polish keeps them in good condition by feeding the wood and helping to prevent it drying out.
I had the pleasure of sitting in the chair myself and it was every bit as comfortable to sit in, as it was to touch, and it was the most magnificent handsome chair to stand back and to look at.
Windsor chairs were first made in the 18th century, but examples made before 1790 are rare.