Antique Windsor Chairs
There really is nothing decidedly spectacular about the look of antique Windsor chairs, or any other Windsor chair, for that matter. The term Windsor simply refers to how the chair is made – that arms and legs are separated by the seat structure itself. It has been said that before Windsor chairs got their name, they used to be called stick or primitive chairs, mostly because of its very basic and straightforward design.
However, several stories have been circulating about the origins of the Windsor chair. While their veracity cannot be proven, it wouldn’t hurt to find out what these tales are all about.
In one story, it is said that King George III came upon a small cottage in the woods to seek shelter from a storm during one of his hunting trips. The fireplace allegedly had a small plank seat infront of it, which he loved so much that he decided to bring it to Windsor Castle, to be replicated by the kingdom’s resident craftsmen and woodmakers. The story might have been valid if only for the absence of Windsor chair stories that date farther back in time.
The other story says that Windsor chairs were made in Windsor, although there exists no evidence that the town ever created such chairs, at all. Because of the ambiguous nature of Windsor chairs’ origins, most woodworkers have already accepted the story that Windsor chairs got their name because they were the types of chairs used at the gardens of the Windsor Castle.
How old the Windsor antique chair design actually is remains unknown. But the oldest documented mention of the Windsor chair is dated 1708, when it was mentioned as part of one of the wills written in Philadelphia. The will was written way before American furniture makers came to be, so it was easily assumed that the Windsor chair was imported from Europe.
The Windsor chair was popular as an outdoor furniture in the olden days, primarily because they don’t easily tip over and get caught by the wind. It has been said that the first Windsor chairs were literally made of tree barks and sticks, but because more and more people became interested in it, makers found commercial value in the design and began making chairs out of wood slats.
And as the Windsor chair’s design evolved, so did it clientele. Soon after, the Windsor chair not only found a spot in the garden, but inside people’s homes, as well.
There is great value in an antique Windsor chair, despite the fact that its design is relatively ordinary. The many tales that back its history, perhaps, make this chair all the more interesting to buy. In addition, it is one of the most basic chair designs there are, and one of the first ever created. In auction houses, no matter how ordinary looking, there always is room for antique Windsor chairs. And antique enthusiasts will never tire of placing high esteem over it.