English Windsor Chairs: Taking the Stool Design a Step Further
There is plenty of information that stretches back around three hundred years when it comes to finding out more about English Windsor chairs. One of the most notable things about this design is that it uses the basic design of a stool and takes things a step further.
Nowadays the rear legs and back of a chair are made from one piece of wood, but this was not the case with an English Windsor chair. In this situation the seat was crafted from the finest wood and the legs were attached next, just as they would be for a stool. Then the spindles for the back of the chair would be inserted into the upper side of the seat, before the chair back was finished.
Over the years the various designs for English Windsor chairs changed, depending on the complexity required. But the same principle stayed with all of them – the seat and the legs were put together and then the parts for the back of the chair were added next.
In fact this would be followed even when the designs of the chair were more complex, such as in the case of an armchair version of the English Windsor chair. Once again the seat and the legs would come first so the chair could be stood on the floor if need be. Then the spindles would be inserted around three sides of the seat to accommodate the rounded piece of wood that formed the arms and back of the chair. From here the remainder of the chair back could be added to the design, making it easier to finish it off.
It seems odd that this chair design, which can be quite ornate in some cases, is really derived from a stool. This may not have been the idea when the chair was first conceived, but it is certainly the same principle in construction, with an extra bit added on top to make a chair rather than a stool. It does give some insight into how these chairs were made though, which is interesting in itself.