Rare Victorian - Alexander Roux Chairs With Original Label

Alexander Roux Chairs With Original Label

Alexander Roux Sidechairs Alexander Roux Chairs With Original Label

Fullscreen capture 8102009 102045 AM.bmp Alexander Roux Chairs With Original Label

According to the label above which accompanies a pair of chairs currently for sale, these chairs were produced by Alexander Roux between 1848 and 1867 due to the 479 Broadway address mentioned.

Alexander Roux Sidechairs Alexander Roux Chairs With Original Label

The chairs are entirely ebonized with gold beaded trim.  The label is affixed to a separate piece of fabric no longer attached to the chairs and served as the cover to the bottom of one of the chairs.  I hate to see labels floating freely and not physically attached to the piece since one can buy labels and tags periodically as they come up for sale and conveniently present them along with whatever furniture they like.  In this case, I think it is most likely the real deal (original label from this particular set), removed during reupholstering.

There is also a separate scrap of the original upholstery which probably inspired the color choice of the newer fabric shown above.

You don’t find Alexander Roux labels every day, so this is a rare opportunity.  More at the listing.

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  • Phil - August 11, 2009

    I have seen paper lables attached to the wood on the back of furniture pieces, and Hunzinger pressed his info into the frames. We have a Roux library table that has stenciled labels inside both drawers. But paper labels affixed to chair linings are new to me.

    I find it interesting that the label pictured in the listing photo appears to be mounted on the same light brown glazed cotton used to flat-line most women’s bodices and skirts from the 1840s thru WWI. Generally, the heavier the glazing, the more serious the fiber break-down over time due to oxidation of the glazing compounds. The glazing was applied to only one side of the fabric which produced a cheap cotton with the neccessary slippery quality required for a lining. Chintz is a common cotton that has been produced similarly for centuries. There were varying chemical formulas used to accomplish the shiny, smooth surface. Some were stable and are quite sturdy 150 years later; others are quite brittle.

    We recently purchased a matching pair of Empire footstools. One has what I believe is the original spring lining across the bottom. It is, surprisingly, a sturdy, sheer black horse hair. That fabric does not show up in clothing in the 19th century except as a hidden hem stiffener in the 1860s, ’70s, and ’80s. Few upholstered pieces have the original fabrics and linings, so I am wondering what was the more common — glazed cotton of horsehair. Any thoughts?

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