A long standing customer was in the market for a set of ten Georgian mahogany dining chairs. Due to their rarity, medium to large sets of period chairs fetch high premiums . The customer had searched widely for a suitable set of chairs and I offered a few examples myself, but to no avail.
They had previously bought a fine pair of mahogany elbow chairs from another dealer which they were inspired by and used daily in their living room. As they were so fond of the two elbow chairs, I eventually suggested having eight side chairs made up to match them, thereby creating a very acceptable set of ten chairs.
Fig. 1. One of the original 18th century mahogany elbow chairs.
Fig. 2. Some of the partially constructed side chair frames.
Note the arcs in the crest rail of the reproduction on the right (fig.3) are proportionately narrower than those in the original elbow chair: Elbow chairs are made somewhat wider than side chairs due to the restrictions of the arms and supports. (Always be suspicious of any sets of chairs whose elbow chairs are the same width as the side chairs – they are likely standard side chairs with later-added arms.)
Fig. 3. Comparison of elbow and side chair backs.
Fig. 4. One of the original chairs again…
Fig. 5. …and one of the copies.
Fig. 6. A clear difference in the widths of the respective chairs.
Fig. 7. The set of two plus eight dining chairs ready to be upholstered/reupholstered. (The red silk damask seat of the second elbow chair can be seen in the background.)