A few years ago, I purchased a three-piece Pottier & Stymus Egyptian Revival set. There was strong evidence to back up the attribution that I had made – the set was pictured in many of the reference books and labeled as so. More importantly, almost all the hardware was marked on the back with P&S, so I was thrilled to get the set. It was a stretch for me at the time, but I put the set away to be restored one day to it’s former glory. It was in a state of basement neglect.
Several months ago I set out to have the restoration done. Some of the delicate hoof feet needed to be repaired or re-carved and one of the backs of the chairs had seen better days. The upholstery was shot and you did not want to be in the same room and breathe the air around the chairs – I’m not sure if it were the dust mites, the horsehair, the webbing or the upholstery itself, but it was unpleasantly musty. Nonetheless, I was going to see that these important chairs came back to life.
I had my friend and craftsman, John Hutchinson at Rose Valley Restorations do the work and his first task was to remove all the upholstery (we had it checked by an upholstery historian – old, but not original). As John was doing the painstaking removal, lo and behold, there was writing inside the chair – presumably model numbers, but also - a name. A name that I knew.
And so began a little adventure for these chairs and their current owner and I’ll be sharing the story with you over a few blog posts in the coming days. You can see the chairs in their post-restoration state, before upholstery.
Next up – whose name was written inside the chair and what home’s grand porch are these chairs pictured on?