The classic, delicate lines of a bench-made Windsor chair belie its strength and durability. At The County Seat, each chair is made to order, using methods that are over 250 years old, ensuring it will last for generations to come. The specialized hand-tools, for the most part, are reproductions, however, I do use some tools that are over a century old and actually belonged to my great-grandfather. Because these chairs are made one at a time, using hand tools, you can see subtle differences in the turnings and the tool marks on the seat and back spindles, giving the chair an authentic, antique look.

Whittling one of the pieces down with a draw knife (this draw knife belonged to my great-grandfather)
A properly made Windsor chair is made from three species of wood (see Construction). As a result, it is painted, not stained. Most antique Windsor chairs were originally painted with green milk paint. During the Regency period (c.1790 – 1820), they were often painted either red or white, and the Victorians (c.1837-1901), liked to then paint them black. If you look at an antique Windsor, you will often see evidence of all three colours in various areas of the chair where it has been worn, bumped or scraped over the years. My “distressed” finish normally consists of three coats of milk paint (green/red/black) with rub and wear marks, followed with a coat of boiled linseed oil and several hand-rubbed coats of paste wax, however a single colour or a different combination of colours can be used. Your colour choices can be seen at www.homesteadhouse.ca

Made in Canada, with Canadian materials.


John Littleford