Collections › OSMG Collection › Fan-back Windsor Side Chair

Fan-back Windsor Side Chair

Place Made:
Possibly Salem North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
maple; poplar; oak; paint
HOA 37 1/4; WOA 19 1/2
Accession Number:
Moravians often referred to windor chairs as “green chairs” in period records. Although some windor chairs were actually painted green (as well as red and black), the term “green” was used in the eighteenth and nineteenth century to describe windor chairs because they were constructed of semi-green (uncured) wood so that as the wood dried the joints of the chair would tighten. The spindles of the backs of early Moravian windors such as this example tend to be placed in a tight radius making the curve of the crest rail pronounced.

Despite their largely teutonic heritage, the Moravians established a windor chair tradition early and contined to make windsor chairs well into the nineteenth century.

DESCRIPTION: Fan-back Windsor side chair, nine spindle back, bamboo turned, painted black; spindles made of oak; saddle-seat; marked on bottom with black paint: S.C.3 (a mark found on Salem College furniture from a 19th century inventory.); H-style stretcher.

HISTORY: “Except for the pins, windsors were made of unseasoned wood, and a firm construction resulted from the contraction of the wood as it dried. The seat, usually saddle-shaped…,was generally made of pine, and the legs were turned from maple, chestnut, birch, or ash. For the spindles and hoops (which were steamed) ash, hickory, and oak were used. A few other woods were found adaptable. Windsors were almost always painted. Green was the favorite color, but red and yellow, and sometimes black, were also used. (Comstock, p.130)
Credit Line:
Gift of Eleanor and A. Elizabeth Chase