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Four Seasons Wrought Iron Patio Set, Origin?

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Chairs1839 of 2897Beauty salon chairA-LINE or CADO chairs, Steen Østergaard (CADO, 1966)
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (2 items)

    I recently bought this set from a couple who had bought it from an estate years ago. It has four chairs, and each depicts one of the seasons. The chairs weigh 75 lbs each. I am curious as to where this originated?

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    1. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      I think these are probably reproductions of Lion Foundry chairs that were originally made somewhere in England. I think called four season seat furniture. They originally had a pad on the seat. If these happen to be the real thing you can plan a nice vacation.
    2. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      I agree fhr they look like reproductions ?
    3. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      I've been thinking....maybe Fordham? That would be the company it was made for I think. Thinking about the weight you quote makes me wonder if these might be originals. Reproductions don't come close to 75 pounds. Originals sell for five figures last I knew. I don't know where you are located in the world but these aren't terribly common in the USA.
    4. cindyjune cindyjune, 7 years ago
    5. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      Wow--you folks are amazing! I was thinking of painting them. If they were originals, would that be bad?
    6. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      Oh, and I am in Virginia, U.S.
    7. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      IF they are originals do Not re paint !! I can't tell by photo but they don't look like they need anything done to them . :-)
    8. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      If they are left in their original unaltered condition they will have more value in terms of resale if selling is something you are considering.
    9. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      fhr hiya :-) should these chairs show more wear or some pitting or something if original ? Just lil ole me asking . Hope your still dancing xo
    10. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 7 years ago
      these do look new to me. but still pretty interesting. if they were mine, i would want to paint them w/ a really good quality paint or maybe even powdercoat them. otherwise, you are looking at serious rust stains in all your clothes.
    11. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      Hi Mani, my answer is yes, no and maybe. I have cast items well over 100 years old that show age but not deterioration. Other items are in less than presentable condition. How well was the original finish applied and how well was the item cared for over the span of it's lifetime? All things need to be taken into consideration and that is why this would be an item I would want some professional authentication on. Find out what you have when it could be a big ticket item. I would assume there must be archives or records somewhere to research or find an appraiser who knows his business and pay what it takes to find out. You posted a link to christies above, they might well be interested in having a look and would certainly have qualified appraisers to evaluate these.
    12. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      fhr I get it :-) I often tell people like on Teddy bears I need to hold it . Some things you just can't judge by a photo . I went back to link and found there was a way to enlarge photo and actually that set on link doesn't show as much wear as it did at first glance . I would have someone see them in person , If the real deal they were made by BY NORTHAMPTON, W. ROBERTS, THE LION FOUNDRY, CIRCA 1862. Copied from site .
      Oldjunk maybe there is a way to check the archives on the company name ?
      Thanks fhr your always the best !!
    13. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      I really questioned these being original until I thought about what the post says they weigh. I went to the furniture weight index and a recliner averages 100 to 120 pounds. Modern outside patio chairs average 20 pounds. Think about 75 pounds each for these chairs. Never mind a porch to support them with a 200 pound person sitting in them......................who is going to move them around?

      The poster doesn't show any of the joinery so it is only what the picture is worth. Showing the fasteners would clear up the issue quickly as would close up pictures of the under sides. Newer items were attached totally differently than originals.
    14. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      They weigh almost same as me . Pretty heavy fhr .
      Poster can you add a few photo's of underside and fasteners. If original you have a prized set !
    15. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      Oh dear. It turns out these chairs weigh more like 125lbs a piece. My husband just picked them up and sent me a pretty unhappy text msg. I will look for the maker's mark and the fasteners and let you know when they arrive. I paid $800 on Craigslist and there is a console table too. I feel kind of sick thinking these folks had no idea of the value?
    16. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      Also I found this other Christies auction, which looks like the chairs have obviously been painted, but still sold for $19k?! I always thought paint was a no-no on antiques, but all my knowledge comes from eating Cheetos while watching Antiques Road Show.
    17. oldjunk, 7 years ago

      Sorry. Here's the link.
    18. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      Don't feel to bad for the seller, they may be smarter than you think. You just added 50 pounds to these chairs. That makes me real doubtful about them being cast. More like having a back that is from a poured lead mold. Go for the Cheetos but don't start counting your money yet. You just threw a major curve ball.
    19. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      LOL! Thanks fhrjr2. In a weird way, I hope they are fakes. I was just looking for some care-free patio furniture, and these were cheaper than anything at Home Depot. Curiousity led me to this site, and now I am afraid I may have to up my insurance. I just love them for their ridiculous over-the-top decoration. The three putii are hilarious--in summer, one of them is riding a goose, the second seems to be fighting off his own arm--which has turned into a serpent, while the third appears oblivious to his comrades imminent demise, and appears to be eating a watermelon. The putii are whacky in each season. I just love it, and a reproduction will suit me fine.
    20. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      Oh, and check out winter--one putii is offering St Nick a handful of BRAINS. And the other putii is going to shoot an arrow into Santa's leg if he doesn't accept the offering. You don't see that every day?
    21. oldjunk, 7 years ago

      Dag--I think you nailed it! There are no marks I can find, and carriage bolts here and there where you might expect welding. It is too dark to take pictures, but good lord these things are HEAVY beyond cast iron.

      I am super happy anyway, but thank you all so much for your knowledge! I will post close ups of the details that gave it away tomorrow.
    22. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      I can't figure out how to add a photo, so here is a picture of the back of one of the chairs showing the bolts:

      The chairs and table (even the bolts) are very magnetic. Do you mean they covered a lead chair in iron? At least I don't have to worry about them getting stolen!
    23. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      They are reproductions. They have hex head bolts and the back is tapped to thread them in.
    24. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      Good photo of back for fhr . You can add a photo just go to edit on your post and remove one photo and then add new one to post . I hope your porch is strong for all that weight wow !
    25. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      I guess that means spray paint them so they don't rust more if repro's ?
    26. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      Not a doubt about it they are reproductions.
    27. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      Your good fhr !! I learned myself on this post . They are cool chairs even if repro's .
      Great solve as always :-)
    28. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      Mani - Many, many years ago I went to work as an apprentice for an old guy that did period restorations of buildings and also antique furniture. Very first day he told me to not touch anything unless he was there. He said if you don't know how it was put together, you don't know how to take it apart. He went on to tell me about how things are put together can tell their history most of the time. That was long before computers so I borrowed a good many of his old books to study. I have forgotten a good part of it but now we have computers it is easier to research (assuming you know what you are looking for). That is why seeing joinery is important to me. You can't tell the book by the cover certainly applies. These are fun chairs as long as they are for use and not for sale. They should pretty up well and be a nice conversation. Knowing what they were fashioned after makes them a great conversation piece as well.
    29. Manikin Manikin, 7 years ago
      fhr that is how many years I studied dolls under a mentor . Started with basic look and don't touch and progressed over a 30 year span of learning and still more to learn. Books were and are still my best friends they helped and when I ask a person to undress doll I need to see construction of body it is important in dating and identifying . CW offers people in so many area's of knowledge . It is a great group we have and glad to call you friend ! Several years of having a antique shop gave me a little knowledge in many things but not a expertise . But I do have a house full of antique furniture which I never post I don't care to empty things to photo them . Most came down through my family over the years as they passed away .
    30. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      Thank you all so much (esp., Fhr). Yes, I am going to paint them now without guilt! It's neat to have the backstory. Luckily my patio is concrete. : )
    31. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      Old junk - I would use a good cleaner followed by a good primer before painting. If you paint them as is it will probably peel and then you won't be able to match the color. Extend is rather expensive but you can get it in a spray or a brush on form. It will inhibit rust and prime at the same time. You can get it most anywhere from auto parts stores, to Lowe's to Big Lots. You will see a really big price span so check prices before you buy.
    32. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      Husband just said he has a backache today for some reason. Then gave me the side eye.
    33. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      Thank you! I'll look for that.
    34. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      Good post Mani. I figured you had a similar background because of the information you ask for to make a qualified statement about a given item. I have gotten to the point that if the picture doesn't show what I need I just skip it. These chair I happened to have seen these before and it gave me a rush to think they might be originals.
    35. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      Just one more question--

      I was cleaning these chairs to prep for painting, when I noticed all the screw holes had been filled in (not very well, either) on the side you see:

      So I removed one of the bolts, and found that it didn't really fit the hole:

      It looks like someone replaced all the bolts and tried to cover the original holes with some kind of filler?

    36. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      I measured a bolt, and it is definitely an M8--metric. So I figured that meant it is more recent. But when I went to put it back on, I noticed this:
      They drilled new holes and filled in the old ones.
    37. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 7 years ago
      The most logical question I can ask is, does it have the Lion Foundry mark and registration date on the back?

      I have never researched Lion Foundry but it isn't uncommon for a foundry to sell their molds when they discontinue an item or go out of business. Depending on how the sale is conducted the foundry marks are usually ground off so the trade name can no longer be used. Hubley & Fish-Hubley are perfect examples of commonly found items but they lack the mark. Few people are even aware that fish & hubley even teamed up.

      The items could have been cast in the same mold at different foundries but without the branding there is also a huge difference in value.

      You could try researching Lion Foundry to see if you can establish whether or not they sold off their molds and if so to whom they were sold. It is often possible to see where a brand was ground off a mold or filled in. On a Hubley mold there is usually just a blank rectangle where the branding would have been on an original. If there is no rectangle and no branding then it is from a fake mold and the dimensions and weight of the items will be way off.
    38. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      Very interesting. No foundry mark on them, and as you say, one of those Christie auctions mentioned above said the bench had the foundry mark on the back. They are so well made, no finning, clean and regular cut outs, nice smooth surfaces-- it would make sense if they used Lion's molds. And the actual weight turns out to be in the 350-400lb range per chair. Each piece of each chair weighs about 100 lbs.
    39. kyratango kyratango, 7 years ago
      Oh my god! How did you bring them home? Not stunning your hubbie has back ache ;-)
      I was very interested by all the post!
    40. oldjunk, 7 years ago
      Me too! I have learned so much. My husband and a friend--both over 200lb burly guys--hoisted them onto a hand truck. He hitched our 19' tiny motorboat to the back of the Landrover, and put half of them in the boat. Would probably have made sense to dismantle them and move 75-100 pound flat pieces, but that's not how guys roll . . .
    41. Moonhill Moonhill, 7 years ago
      Wonderful set of chairs!!! New or old...They would look perfect in our 19th. century cast iron gazebo.
    42. Tomwellstated, 4 years ago
      Hope you refrained from painting over that beautiful patina that was nearly 150 year old. Those are absolutely the real deal. Each chair should weigh about 230 +/-lbs., Which is why they were almost always taken apart if they needed to be moved to another location. Therefore it is not uncommon to find these with more modern hardware than they were originally assembled with. The hardware is easily replaced. The patina is not.

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