The chair shown here was the first piece of furniture to ever register in my young consciousness. My grandparents had it in their house in New York, and I can remember it clearly when we lived there during my dad’s tour in Vietnam.
I was struck by the chair because it didn’t fit into the Platonic ideal form of a chair. Since that time, I’ve always loved this Victorian chair, and when it was up for grabs in my family, I snatched it.
Several readers have asked for some details on the chair after seeing the chair as a prop in a post last week.
The chair was made by E.F. Peirce & Co. (sometimes spelled E.F. Pierce & Co.) of Boston and was sold by Payne’s Furniture Co., also of Boston. Both companies marked the underside of the original rattan seat. Peirce was active as a chairmaker in Boston during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The chair is almost certainly oak.
The legs all have a major diameter of 1-9/16”. The spindles are 1” in diameter at the center and taper to 3/4” at the mortises. The front leg is 18” long. The three long legs are 26-7/8” from the floor to the point where they enter the armbow.
The armbow is made in three pieces. The hands are 1-1/8” thick. The backrest on top of the hands is 1-3/4” thick where it meets the arms and tapers to a point 3” above the two hand pieces. The seat is 16-1/4” square.
I have posted the photos at a resolution that is higher than normal. If you save them to your computer you should be able to use the dimensions above to piece together turning profiles and mortise locations.
Hope this helps.
— Christopher Schwarz