Many chairs made during the 19th century were inspired and were copies of much earlier examples. This allowed homeowners to keep to fairly strict period decoration without investing major amounts of money for every piece of furniture.
This pair of 19th century walnut barley twist side chairs were fashioned after 17th century oak hall and dining chairs. Their decorative appeal is based on the earlier shape and wonderful barley twist legs and stretchers. The walnut legs have acquired a dark rich color and beautiful patina. The stretchers also give one a place to rest one’s feet. These chairs are slightly higher than the traditional dining room chairs, although they can be used at a table. I find them firm but comfortable seating.
The upholstery was done just on the seats and backs, where one’s upper torso would rest. The upholstery may have been done some 40 or 50 years ago. The upholstery suits the style with its upper fringing on the back rests along with the fringing around the square seats. The fabric is somewhat worn, but serviceable. I left it for the next owner to put their own stamp of individuality on them.
I have had the walnut legs and stretchers polished, and had any necessary tightening of joints done. The chairs are truly in ready to use condition.
Each chair measures 38 inches high in total, and 22 inches high at the seats. The seats are 20-1/2 inches wide and about 17-1/2 inches deep.