I had no idea how old these chairs were when I first picked them up from a sale. But by the time I got to the fourth layer of fabric, I had an idea they were pretty ancient! This job was pretty ferrel! Look at those layers of dirt and dust sitting between the boards and throughout all the stuffing!I took them outside next to our wheelie bin – this was a “wear a mask” type project for all the dust.And it was here that we began to discover all kinds of treasures!Bits of leather and other fabrics, hessian, horse hair, whatever they could find to stuff it with at the time, including scrunched up paper, newspapers, receipts, cardboard, envelopes. Check it out:This is an envelope with an address written in an ink quill by the looks of it.Look at this vintage ticking fabric, possibly from an old bed sheet? or a curtain?Newspaper scrunched up with twine:An old invoice or receipt. Words include:
___ Chambers, ___thurst, Street, Sydney; Uphols[tery]; Cabinet Making; Best Materials. “The Importance of Eyesight … Byrie Bros., Yonge and Adelaide Streets, Toronto (advertisement).“The Evening News, published by the News Printing Co., Limited, WM. Douglas, Manager and Editor.
“Toronto, Thursday, May 25 … Canada Has Caught On …
“As the reign of Queen Victoria draws to a close, … ” – YES, my friends this newspaper is from the year 1899!!
I flipped it over to find the year here:
Thursday, May 25, 1899 – can you believe how old this is and still in tact?!
How many backsides have sat on this chair containing all these treasures for over 116 years!!I am assuming by the article on this side of the paper, that the upholsterer who stuffed the chair had kept this clipping about “Bargains in … & Homefurnishings” (see also below article on Nottingham Lace Curtains)
I am also assuming this is a Canadian newspaper.Look how white this cardboard still is after all these years stuffed in this seat! Part of a box for Barber’s Swing Strops. Oil.I’ll leave you with a sneak peek of the restoration in progress for now.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the story of these century old chairs …
Find out how these beauties turned out in PART TWO blog post here.
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Happy painting …