C is for...
Chairs. The first chair I bought that needed caning atop the first chair I ever caned. I picked up the bentwood child's chair at an auction for $30. I fell in love. The caning on the seat was completely destroyed, but there was only very minor damage on the chair back; thank goodness for that, because in order to replace the caning on the back, the chair would likely suffer irrepairable damage. Caning in the round is a bit tricky for a first-timer, so I picked up the dining chair to work on in a class.
"Buyer beware." I didn't examine the dining chair closely enough, so didn't discover 'til later that it had been badly broken and then repaired with a wooden peg and glue. I haven't come up with a satisfactory alternative fix, so it is quite weak and is treated tenderly these days. It does have a double pressback, though, with a lovely oak leaf and scroll design.
The child's chair has problems, too, most notably, somewhat weak legs. It has so many other things going for it, not the least of which are the intact labels and marks inside, showing that it was made by Jacob & Josef Kohn in Vienna, Austria; beautiful wood and workmanship, and a graceful line.
The chairs are beautiful - but I have to tell you - all I can think of is the cane chairs we had in our kitchen growing up. Eventually it got so bad we'd fight over the one chair left that didn't have a hole in it. Ruined me forever.
Posted by: Cara | 05 February 2006 at 03:09 PM
Vicki, do you cane?
My grandpa did. In fact he would spend half the year at his summer home on Martha's Vineyard spending all his time doing it. Celebrities who also had summer homes would all come to him for custom made dining chairs and rocking chairs for their porches.
I will always regret never asking him to teach me. And sadly enough, my dad nor his brothers never learned either.
Posted by: Carla | 05 February 2006 at 04:16 PM
It seems that chair has seen some history. I wonder what the stories are behind all of it's owners and everyone who sat in it. I can just imagine a movie about all the interwoven lives.
Posted by: Jessica | 05 February 2006 at 09:40 PM
Oh I need to have you cane some chairs for me. I have some wonderful dumpster dives, that need a seat. This process seems untouchable for me. Altho, I am told my hungarian great uncle was a basket weaver.
Yours is beautiful.
Posted by: kathy b | 06 February 2006 at 08:41 AM
Wow! What a neat skill to have! May I ask where you would learn how to cane? I've seen basket making classes in my area, but never a caning class...
As an aside, I love blogs that broach other parts of the blogger's life. Yours is a gem.
Posted by: Liz | 06 February 2006 at 08:59 AM
Cool. I love antique chairs -- we joke that our porch is the home for unloved chairs :-)
Posted by: Kathy | 06 February 2006 at 09:34 AM