Timeless Style. A fine pair of Geo 111 style Gainsborough chairs.
Commissioned by Andrew for a private client. A unique pair of wide seated George 111 styled Gainsborough chairs in Brazilian Mahogany. Created, crafted and upholstered by Andrew Christie. Circa 1990.
Some 20 plus years after making these I had to replace a broken arm of the chair on the left side of picture for my client and from the look of the broken one that was sent from South France to me to recreate, I wish I had been at that party it must have been quite a night. Although the person who fell and broke it must have been very sore in the morning! The arm was irreparable and I had to make and fit a new one.
All is well that ends well. Nobody died and the chairs are now again good as new. And the few days I spent in Grasse South France didn't do me any harm either! One very thankful and relieved client. and some new images of my old chairs! The moral of this story is this, It pays to keep my number.
And a word of advice. If you ever find yourself carrying an arm of a chair, bottles of stains and some 3inch size 10 screws in your backpack threw customs, make sure you leave in plenty of time as you will bring up red lights and have some explaining to do.
Tricks of the 18th-century chairmaker.
The tools, A smallish screwdriver and medium weight mallet.
The JOB The upper arm facing cap. 42 convex border circumference dimples.
This is very simply explained but not so simply achieved. In that, the circle of dimples must complete without ending with a half-dimple or a big gap between the last 2 dimples. To start, decide the size of the dimple you feel will look best, find a screwdriver with a shaft barely larger than the dimple size you require. Preferably a horrible star headed kitchen fitters screwdriver, of little use to an 18th-century chairmaker anyway. Cut the end off and drill into the centre to create a concave punch. Measure your dimple placings once spaced correctly its a one punch one hit. Use a practice piece first to achieve the correct amount of weight required behind the mallet to achieve the right depth to the dimples. This has to be perfect or its a complete waste of time. Practice this with different sizes even mix and match the sizes, the effect will always work if it's perfectly done. If it's not perfect one small half dimple mistake takes 95% of the quality off your chair away, and 1000s of the value and worth, just like that. In this case, your skill must be very apparent, only then is it impressive and a testament to the excellence of a craftsman's work. Perfection requires temperament, a tool is just a tool. The simplest of tools and the right temperament is all it has ever taken to create the finest of Georgian chairs. And George 111 chair designs and proportioned have never been bettered. So so sexy !l chairs from circa 1745-1785
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