Different Types of Antique Chairs

Written by natalie saar
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Different Types of Antique Chairs
Antique chairs have a rich history. (old chair image by bayu harsa from Fotolia.com)

The history of antique chairs can be traced back to the early 1600s when the Pilgrims first came to America on the Mayflower. Some chairs, which still exist today, were brought over on the ship. Chair designs kept evolving from there to form the basis of the chairs currently available.


There are about 20 Wainscot chairs in the world today. They were made from 1630 to 1680 and are typically decorated with carvings, although a few of the remaining chairs are not. These chairs are made of oak and most are intricately carved. The ends of the arms are connected to the front legs of the chairs. They have a solid back and seat that connect at a right angle. Wainscot chairs were the first types of chairs made in the colonial United States and the design was brought from Great Britain. This is why you can find them in museums along the east coast.

Carver and Brewster

The Carver and Brewster chairs are said to have been brought over to America on the Mayflower by Governor Carver and Governor Brewster. They were made from 1620 to 1700. The Carver Chair differs from the Brewster Chair because the Brewster Chair has more spindles than the Carver, which only has three horizontal and three vertical rails.


These chairs were made from 1700 and are still made today. They have horizontal slats which curved upward like a sausage. They also have scrolled arm rests. There are two versions of this type of chair: the New England and the Pennsylvania. In the New England Slat-backs, the slats still turned up like sausages, but the bottom portion is flat. In the Pennsylvania chairs, however, both edges are curved.


These chairs were made from 1700 to 1725 and were the first with an arch shaped back. There are several banisters, which create the back support of the chair. These chairs are often painted black and different variations of this chair were created in all different regions of the east coast.


This chair is very diverse in that it ranges in the simplicity of styles and there are no specific numbers associated with the amount of slats needed. Intricate models feature more carvings and simple ones are just standard slats. The Hepplewhite chair, which was designed in the last 1700s, was inspired by the design of the Chippendale, and therefore looks very similar.


Sheratons are among the fanciest chairs ever made. They have a horizontal bar right above the seat of the chair and the back is made up of carved wood. It boasts intricate designs rather than the typical horizontal and vertical slats. The armrests and legs all differ in styles.

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