Pottier & Stymus Egyptian Revival Restoration

by John Werry on October 27, 2010

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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?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc Andrew October 27, 2010 at 7:48 am

I have been waiting for these updates since you won them! (I was bidding against you, by the way). I’m just glad they ended up with someone who can have all the correct restoration done! I’m excited for the next few days!

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Vintrest-John S. October 27, 2010 at 10:55 am

Beautiful chairs! On a side note, I notice them setting on the porch of one of the nation’s most important Octagon houses, the Armour-Stiner house in NY. I can’t imagine a more period appropriate setting-exotic chairs for an exotic house. Pottier & Stymus is in the same league as Herter Bros. and these chairs prove it.

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Scott Geyer October 27, 2010 at 11:18 am

The anticipation is killing me John! Hurry up and post the pics!

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john hutchinson October 27, 2010 at 7:35 pm

It was not only an honor but a pleasure to work on such wonderful chairs. Thank you John, for considering me not only as your craftsmen of choice but also your friend. Great kudos and respect should as well, go out to you, for undertaking such a project. One that would have intimidated many collectors. In the end, the investment and time were well worth it.
-John, RVR

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james conrad October 28, 2010 at 6:28 am

I dimly remember these chairs but i think it’s always a good idea when doing a restoration project to take your time because once done, can never be un-done.

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