Published at Monday, April 02nd, 2018 - 04:02:36 AM. Balloon Chair. By Dylan Boutet.
In this same period, the balloon-back chair was also introduced, but not without problems as, again, the Australian cedar timber was not very kind to both designers and manufacturers alike. The balloon-back chair is certainly pleasing to the eye but, unfortunately, its weakness lies in where the balloon back joins the rear legs, along with the other problems that the traditional bar back may have had. They are an excellent chair but must certainly be treated with respect; that is, pick them up with both hands or by the back rail, not the splat. It only makes sense and, if considered, the balloon back chair must be weaker as the cresting rail (top rail) is often held with a single dowel on each side of the balloon as opposed to a tapered dovetail joint as seen on rail-back chairs of the period. These chairs mostly have turned legs, but occasionally the hoop and legs are carved; they were covered with sprung stuff over seats often in leather or simulated leather.
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.
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