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Set of 4 American wood and caned chairs that I just refinished and re-caned

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Posted 6 years ago


(3 items)

I found these chairs on craigslist about a year ago. They were in horrible shape. One had many many little green paint spots on it, as if it had been in a place where cars were spray painted. I refinished them all, finally deciding to use tung oil rather than stain so as to keep the lovely wood and veneer. I then recaned them, using the same size cane (fine fine) that was on the one chair that still had a vestige of cane left.
I believe these chairs are oak; they are very very heavy. They are now truly beautiful, but I can't find much about them, though I have searched 4 books on American chairs. All I can find out is that they are apparently
factory made. The closest brand I could find with anything like these is Johnson, Perley, & Waite, but I have no idea if this is correct. I believe they are late 19th C. Any ideas? Do they appear to be oak? Would any other wood be heavy?

Mystery Solved


  1. minnierufus, 5 years ago
    Those are Eastlake chairs from the 1880's. They are usually made of walnut which is a hardwood. Eastlake is one of the subcategories of Victorian style. The decorative detailing is a burl wood. Burled woods are much harder to find as its mottled grain comes from diseased wood. The lines of grooves along the sides of the chair are referred to as fluted. This is a very Victorian detail. The hipped sides are as well.
  2. LibraryLady, 5 years ago
    Thank you so much, minnierufus! I really appreciate all the wonderful information! I thought I was just going to cane chairs, but I have found that I am now interested in more than the caning!
    These chairs are quite lovely. When I got them, you couldn't even see the veneer on them. I put about 20 hours of work into each chair -at a minimum. But it was worth it.
  3. minnierufus, 5 years ago
    You are welcome. You did an incredible job of restoration.
    This style is named after an English man by the name of Charles Eastlake. He was social arbiter who decried overly ornate Victorian furniture. Americans used his name for their take on his taste which was actually not in line with the simplicity he sought.
    I am glad you saved the chairs.

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