Picture This CXIV

The fairly plain ash, elm and oak ‘country Chippendale’ chairs – with their silhouette vasiform back splats and wooden seats (fig. 1) – were popular during the last quarter of the eighteenth-century and were made in emulation of their more ornate urban mahogany cousins.

Fig. 1. Ash country Chippendale chair, circa 1780. (Allpress inc)

It should be no surprise then that a Windsor chairbler should also have had a go at one (fig. 2).

Fig. 2. Elm ‘Chippendale’ Windsor chair, circa 1780.

Jack Plane


About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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9 Responses to Picture This CXIV

  1. D.B. Laney says:

    Never underestimate the country man, alone in his shed, without radio or TV!


  2. Joe M says:

    and no cell phone signal


  3. potomacker says:

    I want to first thank you for adding chairbler, which doesn’t appear in my online dictionary, to my working vocabulary.
    Aside from this point, I wonder what makes one determine the provenance of the Chippendale side chair. It appears that all the details of ‘urban’ construction are present; the only difference to mark it as ‘country’ is the choice of woods. All the construction details seem accurate and I am partuclarly impressed by the elegant design of the backsplat. Can you say whether the seat would have originally been upholstered? The solid wood seat makes this piece even more a la Chinoise.


    • Jack Plane says:

      Country Chippendale chairs lack the refinement of the moulded and carved back stiles, crest rails and splats that are present in their urban counterparts – see here.

      Solid seats are one of the distinguishing features of country Chippendale chairs.



  4. Jim B. says:

    Surely the legs are not original – they don’t reflect the lavishness of the rest of the chair. The country man is driven by pride of his work once the necessities of daily life are met.
    Thank you Jack !


  5. Richard Cooper says:

    For over twenty years I had the back part of a chair exactly the same as the one in the first picture. The crest rail was straight and joints held with pins. Recently I got it out to make the rest of it but by then woodworm had found their favourite wood ,elm. I chucked most of it but kept the splat as a pattern. I would have done the front legs exactly the same, as they are the standard design for this type of chair. Front legs spend most of their life under a table so no need for embellishment.


  6. celine says:

    The two of these chairs are completely different from each other but still if given an option to choose I would certainly go with the Windsor chair because of its super comfortable design, the only apprehension that comes to my mind is the uneven curve of its seat, could you please state the reason for such a bent here, it’s quite unusual..!!


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