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Family "heirloom"

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Chairs1625 of 2876windsor brace-back chair? Eastlake parlor chair (day of the dead)
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    Posted 6 years ago

    (1 item)

    This chair has passed from my husband's grandparents, to their daughter (when they died)who had it refinished and reupholstered in the 1970's to fit her decor. It now belongs to my husband(age 67). I know the Grandparents lived in Kansas City, Mo. I know the grandparents had many items from the Chicago World's Columbian Exhibition 1893, but this seems too modern for 1893. Height with the removable headrest is 45" and 26" at it's widest arm span. The color of the wood looks walnut but that could be stained. There are no markings any where exposed. We love this chair and would love to know about it. Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Mystery Solved
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    1. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
      George Hunzinger or Hunzinger inspired:

      Chair is six images down and mentions a removable back panel.

      I don't know these chairs-- my information is based off of the article that was linked on another Hunzinger chair.

      You can thank Hunter (name on CW) whose comment/ link on the other chair peaked my interest.

    2. DJK, 2 years ago
      I am so happy to find out that the designer,of the chair we love so much is George Hunzinger, or as you said "inspired by". Thank you, Scottvez, for taking the time to post this info. (And also Hunter!) I sincerely appreciate your help!
    3. groveland, 2 years ago
      No doubt a chair by Hunzinger. A wonderful heirloom by an important 19th Century NYC maker!

      The Brooklyn Museum had a major exhibition of his furniture leading to a wonderful publication, "The Furniture of George Hunzinger: Invention and Innovation in 19th Century America". Your chair with and without the removable back is shown on page 121, figures 145 and 146. Interestingly, the caption to figure 145 states that:

      "Although the chair is unmarked, the incorporation of Hunzinger's 1888 patent wire connector makes the attribution secure." The "wire connector" is what holds together the lathe turned pieces from which the chair was constructed.

      Your chair was originally upholstered in an embossed leather. See the above reference for how the original upholstery on your chair, including that of the removable back, once appeared.

      See my profile for a discussion of 3 other Hunzinger chairs and a table by a NYC maker contemporary with Hunzinger, the Merklen Brothers. Often their furniture is confused.


    4. DJK, 2 years ago
      Thank you for all the valuable information. My husband are really excited to view a copy of the publication you referenced. There is a copy at the St. Louis Art Museum Library near us.
      We have wondered about this chair for decades! No one in the family had any real knowledge of it's actual history, just vague memories of it being purchased at the Colombian Exposition. I looked up Hunzinger and Chicago World's Fair and he did have his furniture shown there. Lots of interesting investigation ahead of us! Thank you so much!

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