Windsor Chairs are characterized by a common bow shape back, and a solid wooden, saddle-shaped seat into which back spindles and legs are fixed. It is a chair that is well recognized in history, dating back to the late 17th century. Legend has it that King George III discovered the Windsor chair in a cottage while fox hunting. Pleased with the chair, he had a number crafted to be placed in the Windsor Castle, thus bringing about its name.
The Windsor chair is constructed of slender spindles that are anchored into tapered sockets in the seat. It has a high spoked back, and its outward-slanting legs are joined to the seat with immensely sturdy wedged tenon joints. Traditionally, handcrafted stretchers connect the front and back legs, while a crossbar connects both stretchers.
The most essential part of a Windsor chair is the seat itself, as the seat provides the stability for both the upper and lower portions of the chair. Each seat blank is carefully selected, and the utmost care is given to shaping the seat, both to achieve the desired look and the perfect feel.
Exact styles of the Windsor chair differ from England to the United States. They also differ regionally in the United States. For example, craftsmen in Philadelphia are recognized for their plain tapered legs, while craftsmen in New England pioneered the continuous-arm style. The development of regional styles is a testament to the Windsor chairs place in history.
No matter the style, the Windsor chair has earned its good reputation. Throughout history and into the present, the Windsor chair has been celebrated for its comfort, stability, and simple elegance!
Check out our American Windsor Collection for some of our finest Windsor chairs!