Here is another chair from one of our favourite clients. This one is a chair made by Cooper Bros. from Toronto. I would say this chair is from around the 60s or 70s. Very well made, but in need of some help. This chair was done near the end of July 2014.
Please note how this wing was upholstered, and keep this image in mind when seeing the “after” photos below.
The current upholstery is not original. There are two easy ways to spot this. One is that the label was still visible through the thin white fabric which was upholstered right over the original, and the other is by the vertical seam down the centre back panel of the chair (you would not see this on an original piece unless it were upholstered in real leather).
Black tacks are also not a great way to attach the back. On old pieces, tacks are sometimes used, but they are painted to match the fabric. Otherwise, the back panel is usually hand-stitched in place on antiques.
The bottom webbing was completely collapsed.
We weren’t completely sure what happened with the wings. It looks like the chair never had a “filler piece” in between, and the last upholsterer made some really terrible ones.
The original label.
Chair completely stripped down. New webbing, and springs re-tied.
Bottom fabric installed. Note that we were able to save the original label and reattach it. We don’t do this often, but this client loves antiques, and we knew he would appreciate this.
We made new wing “filler blocks” and they were hand carved to fit in the frame.
Here’s how the wings fit AFTER! What a huge difference. We had to stitch them with an angled sewing line because of how the frame is made, but the effect is wonderful.
Here is the finished chair. We opted to go without the skirts for this chair, since it already had nice decorative tapered legs. It’s also not evident in the photos, but the chair has a custom made feather pillow, rather than foam.
It’s very hard to see in the photos, but the back is stitched with the original diamond pattern on the back of the chair that we found on the original foam (which was deteriorated – and replaced). There are also small buttons in the intersections of the design. This is a very shallow tufted design.