one more look at that not-real old, but old-style chair

while at Overbrook house the other day   I took a few minutes to shoot some more takes on the little carved chair there. I could find out little about it, other than “Europe” – dated 1947.


side view



carving 2

Back in early December, Frederick, one of the readers here, sent this link to some brettstuhls (Oh, no – I’m trying plurals of words in foreign languages) he’d photographed in an open-air museum:


9 thoughts on “one more look at that not-real old, but old-style chair

  1. Hi Peter,
    I was interested in the strange chair. It looks as if the heavy, curved back with the superb floral motifs is from an early chair and someone has cobbled the rest together. 1949 as a date would be okay for the tapered legs – very much the thing around the 1950s. The seat has none of the sophistication of the rest – not thick enough either, which is one reason why it has split. Would it not have been sensible to run the grain from front to back – not side to side. The splats simply don’t sit happily with the rest. A curious gathering !
    I’d be interested in what you think it is.
    Duncan James

    • Duncan – I think the chair is one build. The seats are made that way in a great range of geographic work, that we simply call “Germanic” sometimes; but made all over creation. see the link below to an antique shop that features central & eastern European stuff – see the blue chair in this shot:

      they split because the cleats under the seat run across the seat board. the legs are driven through both cleat & seat. hence something’s got to give.

  2. Hi Peter,

    A friend of mine imports large quantities of antique furniture from Romania primarily. I have seen very similar chairs as well as large numbers of those grain arcs you posted about some time ago. I restored a great deal of it as it always sustained lots of damage being packed in a container and shipped across the Atlantic.

    I was always surprised by the fact that most of it dated to the first half of the twentieth century as it looked much older but ,it was peasant furniture and the conditions in the dwellings (dirt floor, open pit fire in the centre of the room) really age things quickly! Kinda like your Plymouth posting about the same topic but in the age of central heating for the rest of us.

    The stuff I used to see showed evidence of a great deal of recycling and I always had he impression that availability of good lumber was an issue, usually narrow and very wormy spruce for seats and legs and a fair amount of beech for other parts.

  3. Here’s a link to his site, you may find some similar things there I know he sets up at all the Brimfield showsEuropean Antiques Importer & Wholesaler – McInnis Antiques …
    McInnis Antiques are importers and wholesalers of antique furniture and textiles from Europe. Located in Cobourg, Ontario Canada.

  4. Definitely be careful with the distinction between the two!

    There are in fact spoons bowls etc.,not to mention axes adzes etc.which do appear to be older and are frequently punch decorated as well but none on the site I guess.
    Not sure when it was last updated

  5. Thanks for the detail shots, Peter. I love that line of carving across the rear chamfer of the crest rail. I can’t see the grain well enough to tell, but do you think it was bent or sawn/hewn?

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