Mark Soukup
(304) 772-5052
1255 Rowan Road
Gap Mills, West Virginia 24941

© 2017 by Mark Soukup

Windsor Writing-Arm Chairs

Windsor chair authority Charles Santore wrote, “The Writing-arm Windsor chair is undoubtedly one of the most practical furniture forms ever invented.” Wallace Nutting noted, "It is the most inviting of all chairs because it calls either to work or recreation and is a little world in itself." Comfortable seating with a writing surface supporting precisely-fitted, locking drawers and key-hides represents

the pinnacle of the craft for the master chairmaker.

Comb-Back
Writing-Arm Chair

This Philadelphia-type comb-back is exceptionally comfortable and a delight to use, besides being the piece in the room to which one is always drawn. The drawer-front, back, and case sides are curved, paralleling the shape of the writing tablet, as in the best 18th century work. Shown with a walnut paddle and case with an added locking seat drawer, both fully dovetailed.  Writing tables are always made with select (and usually figured) full-width boards (19" to 20" wide). Several options are available.

Overall Height 45"

Overall Width 37"

Price $2400 - $2800

 
Square-Back
Writing-Arm Chair

This piece is an adaptation of an early 19th-century Virginia writing chair in the collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, in Winston-Salem N.C. Shown here with the arm, writing paddle, and drawer executed in walnut.  Limitedly available. 

Overall Height 35"

Overall Width 37"

Price $2450 as shown 

Curly Maple
Writing-Arm Chair

This large Philadelphia-type comb-back writing chair is made entirely of curly maple, most of which is highly figured. Writing tables, like chair seats, are always made with full-width boards (19" to 20" wide).  The unusual secondary paddle drawer, or "quill drawer," is modeled after an extant 18th-century chair in the collection of the Rhode Island School of Design.  Several options available.

Overall Height 45"

Overall Width 37"

Price $2800 - $3300

 
 
Sack-Back
Writing-Arm Chair

This piece has elements from several good, antique, New England chairs. The carved, secondary comb gives it a lively appearance, and the dovetailed drawer has a scratch-bead molding on the bottom perimeter to match the paddle’s edge molding. Shown with Connecticut/Rhode Island turnings, this chair would also be handsome with bamboo turnings.  Optional seat drawer.​

Overall Height 43"

Seat Width 35"

Price $1900 - $2050 depending on finish & detail 

Small Connecticut
Writing-Arm Chair

Connecticut comb-back armchairs are typically rather diminutive compared with those from other regions (though they are ample enough for most persons). These writing chairs feature a suspended, dovetailed, locking paddle drawer, and pinwheel crest “ears.” This chair, based on an extant 18th-century chair, is done in curly maple, with a painted hickory and white oak interior structure, and a tulip poplar drawer. It is very comfortable and just a delight to have in a room.  Optional seat drawer​.

Overall Height 39"

Overall Width 35"

Price $2150 - $2300

 
 
Walnut or Cherry
Writing-Arm Chair

This Philadelphia-type comb-back writing chair is beautiful in walnut or cherry.  Good, hard, high-quality, chair-grade wood of these species is chosen.  Usually figured wood is selected for the seat, paddle, & drawer-fronts.  The back spindles are made of heart, red hickory which is exceptionally strong and elastic.  Examples show chairs with and without the secondary “quill” drawer and hidden key.  Several options available.​

Overall Height 45"

Overall Width 37"

Price $2800 - $3300

 
Writing-Arm Chairs
with Bamboo Turnings

This chair is similar to the other Philadelphia-type comb-back writing chairs, but made with a narrower, seven-spindle back and the plainer, bamboo turnings found on later 18th century Windsors. This chair is made with the simpler, “pad” arm, rather than a knuckled arm.  Examples are shown in cherry, walnut and curly maple, all with hickory back spindles.  Also shown on this page is an example of the standard, nine-spindle comb-back (like the other large, writing chairs in the catalog), but made with bamboo turnings.  These chairs can, of course, be made with mixed woods and have painted elements or be entirely painted.​

Overall Height 45"

Overall Width 37"

Price $2300 - $3300