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Friday, May 7, 2010

Victorian Walnut Side Chair (1860-1880)

the chair below dates from the mid to late Victorian era and probably fits into the Renaissance revival and Eastlake periods. The overall design was one that was used throughout this time. Later examples (some of which can be seen in earlier posts) have burled Walnut veneer applied to the back rails. this example had a hand carved floral motif on the back stretchers, uprights, and demi-arms. The turning below the seat is finely made and has more definition than most chairs if this type. the overall material used for the chair is Walnut with the exception of the side stretchers being turned from Hickory. The Joinery is all doweled with the exception of the stretchers forming the back if the chair, which have mortise and tenon joinery.
The chair was loose throughout and needed some finish work, but the main repair was that the seat had broken where the front legs mortise into the seat. The chair and the break can be seen below.(thanks to the customer for supplying the first two photos!)This photo shows a close up of the break .The break was right where the Tenon for the leg and the doweling joining the seat together converged. As seen in the photo, there wasn't much room left for wood! Once the seat was removed I noticed the seat frame had been patched before using pine instead of Walnut. All of the patches were crudely done and were where the separate seat sections joined together. they were also loose so I removed them and patched them with Walnut.Here is a photo of the seat frame being glued and the patches being put in place.Here is a photo of the chair dismantled and different cracks being glued in the legs.Here is a photo of the chair being reassembled. I will post more photos of the restoration of the finish in future posts

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