REGENCY CHAIRS - 1800 - 1840
Usually very elegant chairs, some based on previous Sheraton
types, but many inspired by Ancient Greek klismos chairs, with their distinctive
sabre legs. Nelson's naval victories resulted in the inclusion of many naval emblems in furniture design after 1803, and in chairs is apparent in back supports carved as twisted rope. This has earned all sabre-leg chairs of Regency date the popular name'
'Trafalgars' though correctly this only refers to those with rope designs.
Sabre-leg chairs: Flush-sided (will lie completely flat when on side), with two horizontal
rails forming back supports set between side uprights. Uprights with neatly scrolled ends forming continuous curving lines with side seat rails and legs. Sometimes continuous reeding present on front/upper surface. Front legs of sabre form;
rear legs also outward-curving, but less pronounced. No stretchers. Crest raiI may be deep and flat, often with restrained carved or inlaid
decoration. Lower support usually carved and pierced (in a great variety of designs). Either rail can be of twisted rope form, sometimes bordering section of other shape.
Country versions with straight tapering legs of square section, still joined by stretchers, and planked, dished seats. Popular design for lower back support a double rail enclosing wooden balls. Some rope
turning will occasionally be found.
After 1835 designs became noticeably fussier, with shaped and carved crest rails, heavy , heavy legs and deep, moulded show-wood seat rails. Sometimes drop-in seats of sabre-leg chair type were incorporated.
Always popular, so despite sets being relatively common, prices are level with those of earlier Hepplewhite and Sheraton chairs.
Desirable features which raise the price include solid rosewood and brass inlay.
Grained beech (of which sets abound) cost considerably less than rosewood.
Late Regency/William IV, with over-riding crest rails, used to be a cheaper option, but
they have become more popular.