ARGUABLY the best known and best loved piece of English furniture is the Windsor chair so the legion of international fans of the humble Windsor are in for a real treat with Windsors at West Wycombe at the National Trust property West Wycombe Park in Buckinghamshire from May 6 to 31.
This definitive exhibition of around 35 rare, some unique 18th century examples shows the Windsor was often far from humble and according to its curator Michael Harding–Hill such a show is unlikely ever to be repeated.
Mr Harding-Hill, a renowned Windsor chair expert and dealer for over 40 years, should know. Drawn from private and public collections around the UK the dealer knows they are the best and just where they were because most of them have passed through his hands.
The West Wycombe area was the hub of the Windsor chairs industry from the early 18th to the middle of the 20th century and demand for Windsors old and new continues.
Why their enduring appeal?
The curator explains: “Whether simple or complicated, plain or ornate, Windsor chairs have always served a utilitarian function; many chairs in the exhibition are well over 200 years old but are still in use. There is no doubt the Windsor chair could not be improved in any way”