By Ernest Barnier. Balloon Chair. Published at Monday, April 02nd, 2018 - 04:10:50 AM.
The first plus is the bulk; such chairs are not as bulky or space-consuming as chairs with arms. This factor makes them the ideal choice especially in places where space comes at a premium. Such apartments or office spaces will benefit better from armless upholstered chairs than from normal padded chairs with arms. Another advantage is the simplicity these chairs represent. There is a unique simplistic elegance that is displayed by an armless padded chair. This is especially evident in swivel office chairs.
This is article traces the history of commonly found Antique Australian chairs up until the end of the 19th Century. It discusses English design influences, chairmaker techniques, and the various styles including balloon-back, ladder-back, and rail-back styles. Chairs seem to be one of the least likely types of furniture to survive and become antiques and there are some important considerations to make when restoring antique chairs.
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.
A point often forgotten when purchasing chairs is restoration, as few surviving examples would not have been repaired at some stage. When purchasing chairs, it is not unusual to spend more money with a good restorer than you actually paid for the article itself. The repair of a chair, the most used object in the home, is expensive when compared to, say, a chest of drawers. If restored properly, a chest of drawers may need serious attention only once every 50 or so years, where a set of chairs may need attention on a frequent basis. Sets of chairs that are let go for generations often need a lot of attention, even to a point of needing to be steamed apart and re-glued which takes time and patience. A single chair often consumes more time than for a dining table. Even now in our local area, it is not easy to find a competent tradesman to repair sets of chairs, as they all look upon them as 'charity' jobs.
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