The Quintessential Windsor Chair

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Don’t you just love Windsor chairs! If you’re like me and you love that early look for your home, find a Windsor chair is a must have. Not only is it beautiful and graceful to look at, but it is functional and comfortable as well, surprisingly so for an all wood chair.

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I bought my first Windsor chairs over 25 years ago, and I have never tired of them. Did you know that the first Windsor chairs were made in the British Isles in the 1700′s? They were brought here by the colonists, and in it’s nearly 300 year history, this chair has always been in use in America.

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They can be seen in our history as part of our country’s beginnings, and in our Continental Congress they were used by our nations founders, and today they are highly valued as antique objects.

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Did you also know that in the early 20th century Wallace Nutting was the first builder of reproduction Windsor chairs? The quality of his construction is what gave him the reputation of being “simply the best”.

Even Martha Stuart included a white Windsor chair in her line of furniture sold at Ikea.

Original Windsor chairs, from the 18th Century, are still amongst us, many receiving daily use. Their value has been sky rocketing recently.

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A quote from the Maine Antique Digest of March 2003, states the selling price of original Windsor Chairs and the purchase price in 1930’s and 40’s, can you imagine what they sell for today!: A white-painted SACK-BACK, way back then, sold for $51,000 cost $80.00 in 1940. I had to look up to find out what a sack-back Windsor was. I don’t think I have ever heard of a Windsor being called that. Apparently covers were made to go over the backs of the chairs to keep drafts away.

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A Philadelphia low-back Windsor armchair, also painted white, which sold for $42,000, cost $150.00 in 1932; and a red-painted Philadelphia comb-back, which sold for $66,000, was $200.00 in 1933. Remember these are prices from 2003.
Wallace Nutting’s reproduced Windsor’s from the early1900’s are as much as $5,000 to 6,000 dollars and they are merely 80 years old!
Even reproductions are pretty costly today. If you don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars and if you’re good with a paint brush, you might want to try painting and antiquing an unpainted piece. Be sure to wax it if you do, that will give your chair a nice finished look without too much of a shine.
Happy day
Carole

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