Published at Friday, March 30th, 2018 - 19:20:44 PM. Balloon Chair. By Ernest Barnier.
I consider the third break-point to be around about 1850, with only but minor changes in style but significant change in quality. The seats used a solid piece of cedar approximately 1/2 an inch thick, and this style carried on almost until the end of the 1860's and, in some areas, until the turn of the century. Usually there was no ornamentation other than the turned front legs, and we began to see sprung fixed seats with stuff over upholstery.
The 1870s and 80s saw predominantly balloon-back chairs with a variation or the bar-back -the ladder-back chair. The ladder-back chair, although not all that pretty to look at in comparison with the others previously discussed, is probably the sturdiest of all cedar dining chairs, excluding provincial manufactured chairs utilising peg construction methods and leg stretchers. The ladder-back chair has two horizontal back rails that are tenoned into the rear legs, giving both strength and comfort at small sacrifice to style. Even though there were many of this style of chair manufactured, we have repaired surprisingly few with any major damage. We have seen many examples of these, both hard-seated and upholstered versions, usually with turned front legs. Another point worthy of mention is that the back legs are straighter, relying on nature to its fullest with less short grain, giving greater mechanical strength following a straighter line and therefore resulting in a stronger chair.
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