Country Chippendale Carver Chair
The term, Country Chippendale Carver chair is applied here to a type of country chair with arms that resembles finely made chairs that were used in grand houses. If they are genuine, this type of chair echoes the prevailing fashions of the day. Naturally the Chippendale style was often adopted by country carpenters after the publication of Thomas Chippendale’s book, “The Gentleman and cabinet-maker’s Director”: It is conceivable that many similar chairs were made up as a means of turning off-cuts to profit.
It is never clear is whether the makers of such chairs had access to Chippendale’s book, or whether they just copied fine chairs from sight.
In 1906, Arthur Hayden, in his book, ” Chats on old Furniture” commented that, “Chairs of this make are not museum examples,….”. Since that time losses and the effects of damp and woodworm on the European hardwoods used in their construction have now made them rare enough to be considered as worthy museum exhibits.
This example is quite small but in the usual Chippendale proportions and overall design: It is made in a variety of hardwoods and over the many years has undergone several repairs. The chair frame shows evidence of its legacy if repair work over its life of about 250 years. The seat fabric, although worn appears to date from mid-eighteenth century. It has been re-nailed onto the same seat frame and had been covered with more recent fabrics .