Two Fine and Rare 18th Century Comb Back Windsor Armchairs
Although slightly different in proportion, both these chairs were certainly made by John Pitt of Slough, in Berkshire. Both with a well-shaped dished elm seat, with a simple reed moulding running around the outer edge, into which the single piece shaped fruitwood splat and tapering spindles are set.
Both chairs have four cabriole legs, with corner brackets to the front pair, whilst the back pair kick well back for additional support. The legs are joined by an H-stretcher, with turnings to the centre of all the rails.
Thomas Crispin discusses in his book ‘The English Windsor Chair’ a little about John Pitt. He was a wheelwright and chairmaker of the mid-18th century, buried at Upton-cum-Chavely, on the 13th January 1759, and there remains one chair with his trade label affixed to the underneath of the seat. See the black and white photograph to the left and compare the shaped top rail, centre splat and stretcher configuration. Note also how Pitt joins his centre stretcher to the side pieces slightly below centre.
Both chairs have elm seats and walnut arm bows, whilst the rest is fruitwood.
Excellent condition, superb colour and patina.
Buckinghamshire – Slough, circa 1740-50.
Left hand chair – height 42 inches, width across the seat 23.5 inches, depth to front of seat 24 inches. Ref 502.
Right hand chair – height 41 inches, width across the seat 24 inches, depth to front of seat 24 inches. Ref 2111.