Square-back Windsor side chair (one of a pair)
Probably Southern New EnglandWindsor square-back side chairsWindsor square-back side chairs
36 in x 18-7/8 in x 22 in
Basswood* (seat), maple* (legs and stretchers), ash* (rods and spindles)
Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.
Yellow accent stripes have worn away from the black-painted chairs, but evidence indicates yellow encircled the seat, was in the grooves of bamboo sections, and formed a floral vine motif on the front of the legs.
Bequest of Dr. and Mrs. J. Newberry Reynolds to The David Wilson Mansion, Inc., in 1942.
The square-back Windsor chair form has a rod—or a double rod as in this instance—across the top, into which the spindles fit. This chair (1971.609.1 was photographed) has seven spindles, shaped with a spoke shave, that swell slightly near the bottom. The lathe-turned rear posts and legs are bamboo-shaped. All of the turnings and carved, well-contoured shield-shaped seat indicate a time of manufacture at the beginning of the nineteenth century. However, determining where in the Northeast these chairs were made is less evident. The chair is painted black. It once had prominent yellow striping, but almost all of that paint has worn off. A few remnants remain on the seat. The relatively uncommon basswood seat might indicate an origin of the chairs in Southern New England. However, basswood is not readily identified by eye, which may skew recognition of patterns of its use.