A Very Good Painted George III Comb-Back Windsor Armchair c.1780

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Origin: English
Period: George III
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1770-90
Height: 34 inches
Width: 23.5 inches
Depth: 21 inches
Seat Height: 15 inches
(all at maximum)

In untouched condition, the delicately proportioned late eighteenth century comb back provincially made Windsor armchair having a comb or stick back with shaped ears to the top rail, the back of eight spindles with ten spindles to the lower section, the bowed back having scroll arms on turned legs joined by stretchers with remnants of the original green and then black painted finish to the whole.

In desirable original condition, the chair is comfortable and is structurally sound, with expected wear commensurate with age. It is possible she has been cut down and there are some splits showing to the seat but she is in no way unstable. The green paint now only remains to around 10% of the chair whilst the later black paint now covers around 50% and has wear associated with heavy use, she has been well loved, and this wear is found most worn in the right areas, to the seat top, the curved back rail and the arms. The paint finish survives most in tact on the comb spindles, top rail, legs and stretchers. This kind of wear and patination just can’t be cloned or faked and is suitably suggestive of its honest life thus far.

The Windsor chair is recognised as one of the classics of English country furniture. While it is thought that the name of the English Windsor chair derives from its creation in the Windsor area, the High Wycombe area is well known as a key part of the country where these chairs were made. The most famous of them all is the armchair design. This has a single piece of wood curved round the chair to form the arms and the back. Windsor chairs were made in a wide range of styles and there are distinct regional variations from all over Britain and the USA where the form was equally popular. Period Windsor chairs, when they were new, were painted and they were frequently made from different types of wood and thus the paint tied the pieces together.

This example could be described as a light comb-back and short-arm Windsor chair with the light arm made to lighten the whole chair. Windsor chairs derive one of their merits from their easy portability. This Windsor shows its English origin by the fact that there are few turnings to the legs and stretchers and the arm supports are curved not straight and turned like an American equivalent would be.

Wonderfully evocative of the passing richness of human life.

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