Antique and modern chairs have compelling competition when you size them up against the beautiful Windsor chair. The wooden dining chair is characterized by a semicircular back that is held by upright rods and round legs. They date back to England in the 18th century when they provided seating in the Windsor castle garden. Hence, the name.
Background of the Windsor Chair
The Origins of the Windsor Chair
By the mid-1700s, the English chair was synonymous with outdoor settings, appearing on lawns and in courtyards across the country, as well as indoor settings, such as taverns, meeting areas, and libraries.
But, you may be saying by now, I think the chair is American! There is a good reason you think that as the Windsor chair was introduced to Philadelphia around the time of the Revolution. There is talk that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence while sitting in one of these wooden chairs.
The Windsor chair was a popular choice in England and North America because it was light and durable, which meant it could easily be moved from room to room. Also, a range of woods could be used for the chairs. In England, the woods included ash, yew, and fruitwoods, with elm for the seat. The North American version included chestnut, ash, hickory, and oak, with pine, tulip or poplar for the seat.
Getting a Windsor Chair Today
Now that you know the origins of the Windsor chair, you may want one for your home. You could find one at a thrift store or flea market. While it’s unlikely that you’ll come across an 18th-century version, anything is possible, right? You could identify it as being genuine by the kind of wood used. If you see original paint on the seat, this feature will increase its value.
Of course, you could also purchase a new Windsor chair. If so, one option is to look at mass-market versions. In this case, why not make it your own by painting it a fun color? Another idea is to get a Windsor chair made by a local craftsperson.
Whether you go antique or new for your Windsor chair, we wish you all the best on your chair hunt! Let us know what treasures you have found in seating lately by commenting below.
Windsor Chair Videos