Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Antique Victorian Slipper Chair - Red Toile

Here we have a lovely old Victorian "slipper chair". This type of chair is called a slipper chair, because the overall shape of the chair resembles a lady's slipper. Generally they have short legs, sitting close to the ground, and have no arms.

This particular chair dates from the late 1800's (probably around 1880-1890), and has some lovely carved roses, and French Provincial style legs.

The frame on this chair was in in TERRIBLE shape. This was one of those chairs where most of it was being held together by the upholstery. We worked on the chair on/off for nearly the entire month of January, since it needed lots of small pieces repaired in stages, each one being left to dry for a day.


The brown velvet was old, but not original.

Some of the breaks:

The bottom straps had been doubled-up instead of replaced.

The original hand-stitched burlap stuffing/edge roll around the perimeter. This was saved, and a new burlap was re-stitched over it to keep everything together, original, and strong.

The back hoop needed the most work, with 7 or 8 areas/joints that needed repairs. These were complicated repairs as well, because of all the odd angles.

One of the sides being glued:

The repaired frame. We had to make 2 new blocks to fit around the back legs (it had some but they were badly damaged and not worth repairing), and we also had to make a repair to the back centre support.

New and densely woven webbing:

Springs re-attached (5) and hand tied:

Burlap cover:

Unfortunately, Pierre took over the rest of the upholstery on the piece, so I don't have other "in between" photos. After the burlap, the original stuffing (layers of straw, horsehair, and cotton) was re-applied, a rough cover installed, then the re-stitched back panel & padding, followed by the new upholstery.

Here's the finished chair:

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