Finding well provenanced sets of Chippendale, Hepplewhite and Sheraton antique dining chairs is extremely difficult these days because a) these designers only designed rather than made the items, and b) generally the chairs were not stamped with the maker’s name anyway. The only way to determine absolutely whether a piece of antique furniture came from the workshop of one of these famous 18th century designers was through bills supplied at the time of delivery.
Thanks to the rarity of finding a good set of six or eight period antique dining chairs attributed to one of these great designers, it is often easier and much cheaper to make up a harlequin set. These can be collected over a period of time, should be in the manner of rather than by a single designer like Chippendale, be similar in style where they have the squared or the cabriole leg, and all made from the same type of wood, most probably mahogany. In this way they almost look like a complete set and it is a much cheaper way of buying sets of attributed period chairs, which today can cost thousands of pounds.
Other options are to buy revivals and there are many good quality Victorian Chippendale revival dining chairs about. The machined carving tends to be more stylised than the flowing hand carved period pieces but smart none the less.
For advice on buying antique dining chairs in Lancashire or Cumbria, a reputable antique dealer will gladly give advice to the discerning purchaser on buying sets of antique dining chairs.
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