Many Victorian dining chairs in Lancashire carry the county name. But the spindle-backed, square-set Lancashire chair, like its close relative the Windsor, isn’t limited to Bolton and Preston. These Victorian dining chairs, with their rustic Arts and Crafts charm, are found wherever there are dining rooms, the same style still being widely made today.
Antiques expert Christopher Proudlove writes of seeing a woman piling 10 Lancashire antique dining chairs into her Volvo, at the annual Tatton Park antiques fair. She had paid £3,500 for them, which Christopher considered a bargain, considering the ash and elm chairs were a “harlequin” set dating from the early 19th century. Industrialisation at this time was in its infancy and furniture was still being handmade in short runs, so variations were common – adding to the value and charm.
The purchase demonstrated the timeless appeal of the Lancashire chair. The couple had bought the chairs to accompany a brand new elm refectory table they had ordered. The glorious golden patina, simple, elegant lines and robust construction of these antique dining chairs made them as attractive and comfortable as when they were first made.
The stately home of Tatton Park, of course, is well accustomed to Victorian dining chairs, as Lancashire’s most famous cabinetmaking company, Gillows of Lancaster , furnished the entire property. Until December 19th, visitors from Preston can see these Victorian dining chairs as they would have looked in Gillows’ day, with the Victorian Christmas Mansion event.
If you want to add a bit of olde worlde charm to your own Christmas table, ask an antique dealer in Lancashire about their Victorian dining chairs. To stay local, look for spindle-backed ones.
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