The mere process by which we refurbish partially or fully some of our chairs puts them on the path to this sought after look. We adhere to the standards Club Chair Craftsman used before us. It is true that when you buy a vintage French Club Chair, you are buying time, much like the difference in price between a 5 gallon or 25 gallon tree. It is time, provenance and being properly cared for that makes the pricing valid. Our restored Club Chairs fetch the same price as the fully restored chairs because we never sell reproductions!
Lovely 1920’s Nailed head pair, gutted, restored, color matched.
We meticulously dissemble the chairs, identify issues and refurbish completely or partially, to match the original hue and feel of the chair. On occasion, we do partial restorations on chairs that just need a little help to reclaim their former glory. Other times, we replace cushions, kickpanels and more extensive work as warranted. Blending the new leather with the original color is an art form that is challenging & so rewarding when we achieve a near seamless match.
Rare Erton pair, split seams, hand- re-sewn, restored as original.
By choosing carefully which of these chairs deserve this expert care, we are putting your trust in our capable hands. After 20 years, we know the models worth salvaging and cut no corners to bring them back to their original beauty. Once restored, the inside leg of the chair is branded with our logo, the finishing touch on bringing a chair back to life. We want you to be able to enjoy, and if the need should arise, resell, with full knowledge of the care that was taken to preserve your chairs.
We restore then we brand our WA lending new provenance.
Some people think the shabby-chic, hammered, thrashed older chairs look great. Yes, there’s a certain appeal initially, but when those chairs literally fall apart on you, you might wish you had invested in a pair with traceable lineage, be it a well cared for all original pair, or a pair expertly restored by William’s Antiks. Once our chairs are stateside, it is extremely rare for us to take on a full restoration project. There have been cases where the client understands the expense and time it takes to do it properly. We prefer to focus on chairs that we have sold & know the work that has gone into them, chairs that may just need a little love to shine on into the future.
Giant Lounge pair, Arms abused, fully replaced, color matched as original!
Leather: We take pride in our restoration of these treasures, using only our signature French Sheephide from the Pyrenees. The typical chair takes 6-8 hides to restore properly. The skins are wet and stretched to create the tautness necessary to retain the original lines of each design. French Club Chairs were built with tanned leather but not pre-dyed but aniline dyed (with a penetrating soluable solution). Aniline dying preserves the natural look of the leather without hiding or covering up blemishes. In France we spray dye our chairs, then hand apply a second coat as well as a nourishing cream/polish. We do not try to age them like the many companies that try to reproduce these chairs . We believe with proper care and normal use, they will achieve a lovely patina.
Frame: The frames are usually a hardwood like poplar, adlerwood and occasionally oak. The wooden frames are reinforced with special screws for stability, retaining as much of the original materials as possible. Those original materials include: coil springs, jute webbing
Cushions: The leather or velvet cushions are filled a variety of items that could be either: foam/down blends in an inner sleeve, rubberized foam or burlap wrapped springs. Any of the three fillings are then fleshed out with cotton batting and excelsior or crin vegetale. Often used in the cushions, crin vegetale is interesting, as it is often confused with horsehair or hay , but in fact is the shredded fiber of the European hemp palm. Horsehair was used in earliest models and is what gives particular denseness to the classic Chesterfield style couches and chairs.
As guardians and purveyors of French Club Chairs for almost 20 years now, we take pleasure in providing our clients with detailed care instructions to ensure your chairs will have a long & healthy life. The initial Club Chair care kit includes color matched wax, nourishing cream and directions on how to apply it, as well as a troubleshooting guide on dealing with water stains.
French Club Chairs by William’s Antiks
“Great Product sold with Passion and Provenance”