Fan-back Side-chair

Description and History

fan-back side-chair
  • Overall Dimensions: 23" x 24" x 37" tall
  • Seat Dimensions: 18" wide x 18" deep
  • Standard Seat Height: 17.5"
  • Details: crest ear, knuckle, leg

See Also: Fan-back Arm-chair

Prices -- Order/Contact
Send a Link to Friends or Family

* * * * *

The distinquishing feature of the fan-back Windsor is its decoratively-turned "stiles," the two main uprights which form the back. The stiles angle outward on most examples, as do the spindles, forming a fan-like appearance.

The top of the back is formed with a bent crest, the ends of which are often carved in a spiral pattern known as a volute. Other carvings, such as the rosette, were occasionally used, while many were not carved at all.

Bracing spindles were often used on both the arm-chairs and side-chairs.

The fan-back arm-chair bears a striking resemblance to the comb-back, and some confuse the two. Again, the fan-back has its characteristic stiles, while the comb-back does not. The comb-back also has arms which continue through the back either as a single, bent unit or connected by an "arm-crest." The fan-back's arms are attached to the stiles, secured there by a peg or a decorative nail. (I use a long screw, countersunk, and then plugged to resemble a peg.)

Fan-back side-chair seats were most often of the shield type, though the oval was sometimes used. Conversely, arm-chair seats were mostly oval, sometimes nearly round, with the shield seat used less commonly. I have adopted the shield-type seat for both of my fan-backs so that they are better matched when purchased as a dining set.

Fan-back side-chairs were produced in great numbers in Philadelphia and New England, beginning as early as 1760. Arm-chairs were particularly common in coastal Massachusetts, including Nantucket. New England arm-chairs show strong influence from Philadelphia models, though relatively few arm-chairs were made there. The style was largely ignored in New York.

See Also: Fan-back Arm-chair

Prices -- Order/Contact
Send a Link to Friends or Family

Back to Chair Page


More Chairs
About Windsors
Contact Me