Michael Harding-Hill has beenestablished as a leading dealer and authority on the most desirable Windsor chairs for many years.
No contemporay could have handled and assessed more Windsor chairs of high quality, observing and researching the remarkable range of features their makers lovingly incorporated as the form of chair developed over three centuries.
Much controversy surrounds the origins of the term 'Windsor Chair'. It is probable that the name was attached to chairs made in the Windsor area in the first part of the eighteenth century. Early stools with a few sticks added to the back would have been the originators of the first simple Windsor Chairs. At first the legs evolved from simple sticks formed from solid wood, but were later shaped to emulate the cabriole legs of the more sophisticated chairs, so much the fashion at the time. Windsor was an early centre of chair making and one can well imagine an admirer of a chair being told it was from the Windsor area or the Windsor Valley. This easily corrupts into the term 'Windsor Chair.' Any suggestion that the name alludes to the Royal House of Windsor is considered misplaced or entirely coincidental. It is a fact that of all the items of household furniture, the role of the chair is the most demanding, and its quality and construction are severely tested over a period of time. The form, design and construction of these remarkable chairs speak for themselves and are a testimony to the resourcefulness, ingenuity and skill of their makers. These chairs are miracles of survival, the economy of materials, and their fundamental strength, cannot in our view be bettered. It is hard to think of any improvement that could have been made. As chairs they approached perfection. Just as they graced the homes of eighteenth century gentlefolk so they can today.
FINDER AND INSURANCE VALUATION SERVICES
Please contact us for all your Windsor chair requirements.
We also have close links with The Chair Museum in High Wycombe and are able to offer a design and copy service.
I am always interested to hear of any Windsor chairs that are for sale, or indeed any information that will further our knowledge in this field, and I am always grateful for any help I get.
This year, Michael and a dedicated team are stageing the worlds largest exhibition of early Windsor chairs.
Windsors at West Wycombe:
A Definitive Exhibition of 18th Century English Windsor Chairs
6 to 31 May 2012
West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire
The most important collection of earliest-known Windsor chairs ever publicly displayed, comprising some 35 of the finest 18th century examples, will be shown from 6-31 May 2012 at West Wycombe Park (National Trust). The area around the nearby town of High Wycombe has been synonymous with the manufacture of Windsor chairs from the late 18th to the mid-20th century. The chairs are on loan from public and private collections.
To see more, please go to www.windsorchairs2012.co.uk for more information.