Unusual Tin-Clad Victorian Armchair

by John Werry on August 12, 2008

tinvictorianchair Unusual Tin Clad Victorian Armchair

No this isn’t a high-end piece of Victoriana. This chair is “Rare” for another reason – that is not silver paint.

This Victorian-era chair is clad completely in Tin and appears to have been done so originally. I’ve never heard of this treatment for furniture before, but it must coincide with the tin ceiling tile era, which began mid-19th century when mass-produced sheets of tinplate became available and continued through it’s peak in the 1890s.

If you go to the listing you can see where a few of the seams have given way and expose the underlying wood. It’s hard to say whether the raised “carvings” are from stamped Tin or from the underlying wood with unembossed Tin having been stretched over it.

Won’t see another one like that for a while …

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

zeke August 15, 2008 at 10:06 am

I’ve seen a few of these over the years and they are almost assuredly made by a tin ceiling manufacturer. A really great supplier of tin ceilings, cornices etc is WF Norman company who still uses original methods to produce their product.

http://www.wfnorman.com/

Huge weights were dropped on molds containing steel sheets to produce the intricate designs so favored in Victorian America. If you look at the chair you can see where seams etc are separating as these would be stress points where the steel is thinner from being punched in the mold.

I would think these were made to be used on a porch? The steel, if kept well painted, would hold up better than wood, at least in theory.

Many old stores in my area NJ/NY/PA still have wonderful original “Tin” ceilings. The metal sheeting provided a very good firestop and often saved the upper floors during a blaze. God only knows how many fires were caused by gas lighting!

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