American Philadelphia Style Low Back Windsor Arm Chair, Walter Steely
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania c. 1925-75
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Walter Steely (b. 1897-1977) lived and worked in Lititz, Pennsylvania in Lancaster County where his chairs few an incredible local following. Crafted entirely by hand using period techniques and identified as a Walter Steely chair with his signature brand of W.S., every detail is constructed with the eye of an artisan. Originally, these chairs were crafted as early as 1740 and as late as 1790, almost entirely in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. It features a wonderful original red milk paint finish, well preserved with a growing patina. The crest is smooth and comfortably sloping, flanked on either side by step down cuts as it falls into the steam bent medial rail arm. Screws go up through the medial rail to lock the crest on firmly. The rail wraps around the entire seat back into carved outward flaring handholds over tenoned vertical spindles and two turned baluster and ring arm supports. The plank seat is a single solid board, characteristically D-shaped with sharp angular chamfering, carefully carved to create a comfortable seating surface; all four legs tenon through the seat, locked in place with split wedge joinery. The four legs are turned in the classic Philadelphia manner, with thin baluster turnings below the seat over turned rings and elongated balusters over a reel and ring; below that a cylinder terminating in the classical Philadelphia ball foot. The side stretchers have subtle ball turnings, stretched with a center double baluster ring-and-reel turning.
This is an absolutely gorgeous and incredibly practical chair. Not only is it highly collectible among Windsor design purists, quite decorative for those looking to bring formal design to a home, and entirely crafted and carved by hand - it also is very comfortable. It is an outstanding piece for a corner, for in front of a desk or beside a fine side table. This is a piece you will cherish in your home for years to come, one that will be passed down through many generations with a strength to last many centuries.
25" wide x 22" deep x 32" high to crest; 18 3/8" high to seat.
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