Editor’s note: After a brief unseasoned interlude, Chair Chat is now back on its high-sodium diet. Please do not read on below if you are allergic to salty potatoes or salty language. Today on the menu is a chair from a museum, served with ocean potatoes and meatballs.
Klaus: OK, so do we have a chair?
Rudy: Yes, let’s do the one with the five sticks in the back.
Chris: I think it’s ADORABLE. Look at how the comb/backrest is so weirdly twisted.
Rudy: It’s a real cutie for sure!
Klaus : OK, OK! It’s cute.
Rudy: The comb really gives it personality!
Chris: The seat is so big and awkward.
Klaus: And the short legs!
Rudy: Space for your beer on both sides!
Klaus: Is there a slight saddling of the seat too? Or has the board just cupped?
Chris: I can’t stop looking at the seat’s color. It’s SO CLEAN compared to the rest of the chair.
Chris: And so many splits….
Klaus: Look at that Bratwurst of a stick!
Rudy: I wonder if these cracks occurred at assembly or over the years?
Chris: How come the seat has no paint on it?
Klaus: Sanded away? Stripped?
Rudy: Sandpaper butt, AKA antique’s dealer butt?
Chris: Had to clean the farts off it.
Klaus: There’s some red paint UNDER the seat though.
Rudy: Yeah. Right around the legs.
Chris: I wonder if it was disassembled, the seat was sanded and then the thing was reassembled?
Klaus: It’s actually a slab seat.
Rudy: You mean that they didn’t sand the underside?
Chris: Yup. Too much work.
Klaus: But why didn’t they sand the legs and the sticks then?
Chris: I think it’s a legit chair. Just weirdly finished.
Rudy: No wedge in this tenon.
Chris: There’s not a trace of paint where the sticks meet the seat.
Rudy: Just on the legs.
Klaus : So it must have been disassembled then.
Chris: Maybe the seat was badly stained or painted. Who knows WHY dealers do certain things?
Klaus: The legs look like they’ve been there for a long time. Looks like there’s some rags around the tenons on some of them. Is this just old goo/glue? Or has it been repaired with a cloth around the tenon like we’ve seen before?
Rudy: And maybe that is why the legs/sticks are shorter and have no wedges – they were cut off. Wait, except the legs DO have wedges. Or it may even be tear-out from drilling the hole. Hard to tell from the picture.
Klaus: Or just a Fluffy Mortise Edge™️.
Chris: A wedge and a peg.
Klaus: Hey now! Look at that!
Rudy: Well, well, well.
Klaus: Double whammy!
Rudy: Or is that a nail?
Chris: Might be a nail.
Klaus: Looks too round to be a peg.
Chris: Metal pegged construction. High-speed Metal Pegs.
Rudy: NO WOBBLE.
Chris: I bet this one has SOME WOBBLE.
Rudy: MINOR WOBBLE.
Chris: EARLY WOBBLER.
Klaus: So, you think they disassembled the sticks from the arm too then? Or just loosened the sticks at the seat?
Chris: Hard to say. The uppercarriage looks intact to me.
Klaus: The legs are so cute.
Rudy: They are! And so honest.
Chris: They are. Almost Turdy like
Klaus: Yeah, minor kinks here and there. Like turds.
Rudy: Do you happen to have a description?
Klaus: Hmm, I’ll have a look
Chris: Swedish turds.
Klaus: Swedish turds have NO WOBBLE.
Chris: After too many ocean potatoes.
Rudy: The picture says ”Early Windsor chair”?? (Editor’s note: at first, we found the incorrect description that mentioned this to be an early Windsor chair).
Chris: Looks Irish to me?
Rudy: I would say so too, with the captured arms. And also its whole appearance looks very hedge-y.
Chris: So not Windsor.
Klaus: If this is a Windsor then I’m John Brown.
Klaus: I don’t have any info, I’m afraid. Rudy can you run a reverse image search like you used to do in the old days? I don’t know how to do that.
Rudy: I’ll give it a try.
Rudy: The front sticks are wedged from below. And neatly marked on the seat.
Chris: Not pretty. But effective.
Klaus: Solid construction. And I mean, who doesn’t love getting pegged from below?
Chris: The other Irish-y thing is how far in the legs are from the edges of the seat. I’ve always wondered what the rationale is. Or if it’s cultural.
Klaus: Good point. The Englishmen liked them closer to the edge. Don’t you think it’s just about looks, AKA cultural?
Chris: Could be. I just wonder. Perhaps it keeps the legs and the sticks away from each other to avoid splits in the seat?
Rudy: I think that train of thought makes a lot of sense. Germanic chairs also often have the legs close to the centre. But they are very different in other ways.
Klaus: That’s a good point, too.
Chris: Good point. Also, it puts the weight of the sitter right over the mortises. For strength (or a good time).
Rudy: Haha. Can’t wait for those tenons to poke through the seat….
Chris: But you have to be married first!
Klaus: What about the splay then, what is the rationale there? Did poor Welshmen in their cottages need bigger splay on their dirt floors? And the posh Englishmen had stone floors and could have more upright chairs?
Chris: I think splay has to do with how the chairs were used.
Rudy: Splay definitely makes chairs not topple.
Klaus: Is there a pattern when it comes to different splay – different countries?
Chris: If you use the chairs around a table, you want little splay so they don’t hit other chairs.
Rudy: Or feet / legs.
Chris: Yup. But around a fire, lots of splay isn’t a big deal.
Klaus: Good points.
Chris: Irish aren’t a table culture, like the English and Americans are.
Klaus: And maybe at some time in history, splayed chairs looked like peasant furniture. I bet class and social structures also played a role?
Chris: Sure. You rebel against things that remind you of being poor.
Rudy: Is this chair perhaps a child’s chair?
Chris: I wish we knew the measurements.
Klaus: I’ll see if I can dig it up after the chat.
Chris: Irish used to eat on their laps. The table might be a low board.
Klaus: That’s interesting!
Chris: When cheap manufactured tables and chairs became available in Ireland, they threw out the cottage shit and got Formica tables and tubular steel chairs.
Early primitive Windsor chair in old red paint surface. 16″ seat Ht., 36″ overall Ht. Deaccessioned from the American Folk Art Museum New York.
Rudy: Just found it.
Chris: Full-size chair.
Rudy: From a museum!
Chris: The American Folk Art Museum is for outsider art. Weird.
Klaus: 16″ seat… that’s the depth then? It looks wider than that.
Rudy: 16″ high.
Klaus: So this chair came with the Irish to America then. And then they went to Wal Mart and bought a plastic chair and threw this away.
Rudy: And then they took it apart, sanded it and gave it to a museum.
Klaus: Easy money! I bet they all farted in it before they passed it on to the museum. I would definitely have done that.
Rudy: Hence the red stains.
Klaus: Yup. bloody fartin’.
Chris: After eating too many potatoes.
Klaus: You won’t give up on those potatoes, Haha!
Chris: That’s how you make something funny. Repititon.
Rudy: NO WOBBLE.
Chris: I learned that in Clown School.
Rudy: Hey, you went to clown school too?
Chris: Class of ’98. Suma Cum Clown.
Klaus: You learned well. I flunked clown school.
Chris: That would be a sad story: flunking clown school.
Klaus: What a sad story indeed.
Rudy: Paint a smile on your face and cry.
Klaus: Clowns are the saddest.
Klaus: I went to Meatball School instead. Class of ’95. Suma sum excel water potatoes.
Chris: You are learning! I don’t like clowns. Got tackled by a clown’s assistant when I was a child.
Chris: OK. I got go cook dinner.
Rudy: Fish glue.
Chris: Fish glue is f*cking hilarious.
Rudy: See you Swedes later.
Klaus: Alright see ya bastards. Hej då.
Chris: Ball your potatoes.