An Edwardian Child’s Over-Stuffed Arm Chair with Footstool

The beginning of a new project…


I planned on doing the upholstery on this child’s Edwardian version of an adult’s over-stuffed chair myself.


Then, I saw that the springs needed tying.  I traded the upholstery job for selling a couple of his clocks in my shop without receiving a commission. I always ask the upholsterer if the charge would be a bit lower if I remove all the tacks. It could take all day and might take a couple of days if there are four layers of fabric like this chair.


The chair and footstool were stuffed with straw, horsehair and cotton. The straw had completely broken down into dust. You can see in the photograph how the horsehair,  rolled in a cover of burlap rounded the hard wooden edges.


The story of the chair’s life is in the four layers of fabric. The first black fabric was once stunning in purple and gold silk. The second layer was mohair plush, followed by a 1950’s layer of leather and some type of industrial grade woven material. The fourth layer was gold damask.


Like the people before me, I used a classic upholstery pattern suitable for adult furniture.


I restored the arms and feet with New Life Furniture Masque.


The upholsterer cut a welt from a coordinating plaid upholstery fabric. If I had paid the professional upholsterer I always use to do this job, he said he would  charge 200.00 including the professional materials. That would have been a good deal, as it was, but with the price of the chair (25.00) and the fabric (20.00), the cost would have been so high that I may not have found a buyer. By trading the work for the use of some wall space in the shop,  I will make a profit.


Before it is all sold, I want to show you some photographs of the beautiful furniture I got at an auction last autumn. I’ve sold the bed now, the dressing table, and the bench, only the chest of drawers and side chair remains. Winnebago Manufacturing of Rockford, Illinois, made bedroom furniture only, and they certainly did it well. Every drawer slides like silk and the carving and fancy veneer work is extraordinary. Winnebago Mfg. closed its doors in 1965 after surviving the WWI, the Depression and WWII. Rockford, Illinois, was a major furniture manufacturing area. Trains brought hardwood from near-by Wisconsin and Michigan.





On a completely different subject, come take a look at a book of illustrations that I found at an auction.  Do these illustrations, by Wanda Gag affect you the way they affect me?  I’ve loved her work since I first read Millions of Cats when I was a kid.

The first illustration must have been a commissioned Christmas card. I love this. It is Christmas and dark winter nights wrapped up in Halloween paper.



Her drawing of houseplants actually shows the movement of growth.WandaGag1

Wasn’t she wonderful?

Until next month,