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ABOUT THE CHAIRS

​​Ladderback Chair

​​ A LITTLE HISTORY

The ladderback chair is believed to have its origin during the Middle Ages in Europe. The plain style
​was valued greatly by early Protestants and was brought across the Atlantic by early American colonists. Furniture makers in Philadelphia, Boston and other colony centers made them and sold them to all classes of colonists. They served as dining chairs, "sitting" chairs and pew chairs. Ladderbacks were favored by Quakers for their meeting houses. The ladderback chair, also known as a
slatback chair is named for the horizontal slats across the back which resemble the rungs of a ladder.
​The back posts were usually turned on a lathe. Seats were made of woven rush. Variations evolved over time to include elaborately turned spreaders and intricately carved back splats which were often decorated to enhance the beauty of the chair.

ABOUT THE MINIATURE

​The miniature is a reproduction of a later, ornate version of a ladderback known as a Lancashire Cheshire Ladderback chair. The miniature is 1/12" scale and measures 3 3/4"​H X1 5/8"W X1 1/4​" D. Construction is of cherry wood. The seat is made of real straw which is stripped to a width of 1/16", then twisted to make a fine cord which is woven to form the seat. This method gives the seat a realistic look with minor irregularities duplicating the look of a full size rush seat. Back splats are ornately carved and fitted to the back posts. The chair is finished with black lacquer, plus three coats of varnish, the hand rubbed to a satin sheen. The back splats are hand painted making each chair unique. The color scheme can be varied according to customer preference. a polished brass plaque is affixed to the bottom of the seat which is signed,dated and serialized to verify its authenticity.

​Padded Seat Rocking Chair

​​ A LITTLE HISTORY

​The rocking chair is predated by the rocking cradle which were in use in Europe before the Middle Ages while children's rocking horses were popularized during the Victorian era. Benjamin Franklin is credited with the invention of the rocking chair in 1710 and was perfected by the American Shakers. Rocking chairs have played a prominate role in American history, most notably the rocking chairs used by John F. Kennedy which was prescibed by his doctor to relieve chronic back pain from a war injury. Kennedy took his rocking chair with him during his world travels as President. No one can dispute the therapeutic value of a rocking chair when rocking on a porch in the warm summer sun.

ABOUT THE MINIATURE

​The soft seat upholstered rocker is fashioned after an antique inherited from my mother. I don't know the origin of the chair but do recall relaxing in the chair as a young boy. The miniature is 1/12" scale and measures 3 1/2" ​H X 2 1/4 " ​W X 2 3/4 ​" D. Construction is of cherry wood. The seat is steam bent to a concave shape. The center is cut out and a soft cusion is sandwiched between a rigid webbing on the underside and a decorative fabric on top. the choice of fabrics and colors can be specified by the customer. I have available many different printed fabrics to choose from or the customer can supply a small sample to make the chair totally unique. The back rest is also upholstered in the same fabric. Both are finished with a braided cord around the edges which complements the color of the fabric. The head rest is gently steam bent as are the rocker slats to assure the wood grain follows the contour of the slats. Legs, arm posts, spreaders and back posts are turned on a lathe. The arm rests are carved with knuckles on the end. Chairs are finished in a dark walnut stain with three coats of varnish, hand rubbed between each coat. They are then waxed and polished to a smooth satin finish. a polished brass plaque is applied to the underside of the seat which is signed, dated and serialized to verify authenticity.







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​Comb Back Windsor

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A LITTLE HISTORY
The Windsor style chair is believed to have been developed in the late 17th or early 18th century in the vicinity of Windsor, England. The splayed legs suggest a spinning wheel maker may have been responsible for the design, but that is speculation, it may well have been a wheelwright or a farmer. Windsor chairs were widely available in England’s southern counties by the 1720’s and were normally intended for use as lawn chairs. By the 1760’s the first American Windsor chairs were principally built in Philadelphia and were known as Philadelphia or comb back chairs. As middle class prosperity grew in Colonial America, the demand for fashionable goods increased. Tradesman of the era took advantage of the vast reserves of hardwoods available in the forests of colonial America to meet this growing demand.  The earlier Windsor chairs were rather large and heavy and can be differentiated from later Windsor’s by the ornate back splat. Windsor chairs were one of the first “production” type businesses in the new world. I was fortunate enough to inherit one of these early style antique Windsors from my mother which is still in use today. This chair serves as a model for the miniature I make.

ABOUT THE MINIATURE

This miniature is a reproduction of a Philadelphia or comb back Windsor. The miniature is 1/12th scale and measures3 1/4” H X 2 ¼” W X ¾” D. Construction is of cherry wood. The head rail is steam bent and the seat is shaped the same as the original full size chair. Legs, spreaders, arm posts and back side posts are turned on a lathe, faithfully duplicating the original. Back spindles are finely tapered to a dimension of .04” where they are fitted into the head rail. All joints are doweled and glued to assure sturdiness and durability. Chairs are finished with either a warm walnut or a mahogany stain as preferred by the customer. Three coats of varnish are applied and hand rubbed between coats, then the chairs are waxed and polished to a soft patina. A polished brass plaque is affixed to the bottom of the seat which is signed, dated and serialized to verify its authenticity.

​     Continuous Arm
​     Bowback Windsor

​A LITTLE HISTORY
​Following the manufacture of English style Windsor Chairs principally in Philadelphia, tradesmen in New York and New England eliminated the central splat featured in the original design and began producing finer and lighter styles. These later design Windsor"s came in a variety of styles including armchairs, side chairs, rockers and settees. The most daring design was the continuous arm bow back chair which utilized a single piece of wood steam bent in a compound bend to form both the back and arm rest.
​Another popular style was the hoop back armchair which are often seen in paintings depicting the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia's Independence Hall on July 4, 1776. Thomas Jefferson is said to have written a draft of the Declaration while seated in a Windsor. George Washington had a recorded 27 Windsor chairs at his home at Mount Vernon.

ABOUT THE MINIATURE

​The miniature is a classic Continuous Arm Bowback Windsor. The miniature is 1/12th scale and measures 3 ​3/4" H X 2" W X 2"D​. ​Construction is made of cherry wood. The compound steam bent bow back is made of poplar wood which is more amendable to the steam bending required for this design.. This feature of the miniature is very challenging to make requiring complicated steam bending fixtures. The bow back is .100" diameter while the back spindles are tapered from .06" where they fit into the seat to .04" where thay fit into the bow back. Legs, spreaders and arm posts are delicately turned on a lathe. The seat is shaped the same as a full sized chair. All joints are doweled and glued to assure a sturdy chair. Chairs are finished in a warm, light walnut stain. Three coats of varnish is applied and hand rubbed between each coat. The chairs are waxed and polished to a satin patina. A brass plaque is affixed to the seat bottom which is signed, dated and serialized to verify its authenticity.

 ​Normandy Chair

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A LITTLE HISTORY
The French played a prominent role in the American Revolutionary War against the British between 1775 – 1783. France provided weapons and loans as well as combat soldiers to fight under George Washington against the superior British forces. I have a particular interest in this French participation in the war effort since in 1780, 6000 French troops led by Rochambeau left Newport, R.I. and traveled a route which took them past my current residence in Sterling, Ct. on their way to meet with General Washington in Wethersfield, CT. There are placards commemorating this event along the route. There have also been reports of finding buttons from French military uniforms in my neighborhood. The French introduced French culture as well as French design to the American colonies. This period of French influence is called the American Empire period: 1800 – 1840. The French introduced curved arms, cabriole legs and ornate paw or claw feet to furniture design
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ABOUT THE MINIATURE

The graceful curves of the miniature Normandy chair reflect the French influence in furniture design. The miniature is 1/12th scale and measures 3 1/2” H X 1 3/4” W X 2 ¼” D. Construction is of cherry wood. The seat features a “whalebone” seat which is slightly rounded on each edge adding to the graceful lines of the chair. The seat is woven from real straw cut to a width of 1/16” then twisted to form a fine cord. Using real straw adds to the realistic look of the seat by duplicating the minor irregularities in color seen in a full- size rush seat. The chair is finished in a warm cherry stain, then sprayed with three coats of satin varnish and hand rubbed and polished to a fine patina. Each chair has a polished brass plaque affixed to the underside of the seat which is signed, dated and serialized to verify its authenticity.


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​ Hitchcock Chair 

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A LITTLE HISTORY
In 1818 a man named Lambert Hitchcock began making chairs in Riverton, Connecticut, later called Hitchcockville. He was a master wood worker with a love of detail. He saw what clock makers could do by machining interchangeable parts. At that time furniture was crafted one piece at a time making it unaffordable to the masses. Taking a clue from the clockmakers, he started mass producing chairs and was able to mass-produce 15,000 chairs a year. Using stenciling techniques, making minor seat back shapes,, and  varying arm and leg designs he was able to make the chairs look made to order. The Hitchcock chair was one of the earliest mass produced products made in America. They are both beautiful and durable and thanks to mass production techniques, they are affordable and are found in millions of homes today. Lambert Hitchcock passed away in 1852 but thanks to following generations of dedicated craftsman, using modern production techniques, they are still being manufactured today while maintaining the quality of Lambert Hitchcock’s original dream.
 
ABOUT THE MINIATURE
The miniature is a classic Hitchcock chair called a Country Arm Chair. The miniature is 1/12 scale and measures 3 ¼” H X 2” W X 1 ½” D. Construction is of cherry wood. The back rest is steam bent and is decorated with appliques set off with hand painted gold filigree. In keeping with Lambert Hitchcock’s concept, the decoration can be suited to the customer’s preference lending to the uniqueness of the chair. The chair pictured is decorated with a New England Revolution soccer team logo. Chairs can be decorated with any team logo or as specified by the customer. Back spindles are gently tapered and legs are machined and decorated with hand painted gold bands. The chair is assembled using doweled and glued joints assuring a  sturdy finished  product. Each chair is finished with three coats of varnish, hand rubbed between coats and waxed to a soft patina. A polished brass plaque is affixed to the underside of the seat and is signed, dated, and serialized to verify it’s authenticity.


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