Published at Monday, April 02nd, 2018 - 04:07:59 AM. 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 1890s led to another major change in both style and design. The quality of timber available for furniture manufacture was by no means good compared to the timber used half a century earlier, but we were smarter now and knew how to make things stronger, quicker and even less expensive than before. However, this was done at the expense of hand carving, crisp, tight turnings and to the cherished designs of the past. Unfortunately this is progress; otherwise we would still be in the dark ages with clubs and caves. The style of the period was square, with turnings, machine-carved decoration, and pressings, and designed for mass-production, losing much of the character and finesse for which the earlier cedar chairs were renowned.
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