Ideas + Advice

0908_popular_chair
Guides

What is a Windsor Chair?

As you search for the perfect dining chair, you’re likely to come across a couple of iconic designs that have stood the test of time. One of the most popular options out there is the Windsor chair. Considered by many to be America’s first chair, Windsor dining chairs were originally introduced in England, but were popularized in the United States in the 1730s. Windsor furniture experienced a golden age from 1725 to 1860, and became beloved once again around 1910 and the 1980s. Today, you can find the Windsor design in spaces that have classic, traditional appeal.

The History

Named after the English town of Windsor, the Windsor side chair dates back to 1710. According to legend, King George II was given a multi-spindled chair to sit on while seeking shelter from a storm at a peasant’s cottage. He was so impressed by its comfort and simplicity, that he had his furniture maker copy it. The chair crossed the ocean to the American colonies around the 1730s, when it was most likely crafted in Philadelphia.

 

The Popularity

Not only did all of the founding fathers own Windsor back dining chairs, these chairs were easy to manufacture. In fact, it may have been the first mass-produced style in the United States. Because Windsor style chairs were comprised of parts that were interchangeable, furniture makers began building separate components, including spindles and legs, to be sold and shipped for assembly by local craftsmen. Since then, the popularity of Windsor wood dining chairs has been through ebbs and flows, but today you can find authentic 18th and early 19th century designs that are priced from four to five figures.

The Characteristics

Wooden Windsor dining chairs are characterized by turned spindle backs that are attached to solid, sculpted seats. Their legs, which typically splay outwards, are often reinforced by h-stretchers and their backs slightly recline. Known for their durability, grace and sense of lightness, both the vintage Windsor chair and modern Windsor chair offer charm and quaintness that make them infinitely desirable.

Featured Products

— More Great Articles —

Related Categories

Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.