Charleston Easy Chair

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Project by chobbs66 posted 12-08-2009 08:42 PM 2127 views 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally got some decent pictures of this project completed in 2007.

Charleston Easy Chair (One of a pair)

This is a reproduction of the Charleston Easy Chair at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) (1750-1760). It can be seen in The Furniture of Charleston, by Rauschenberg and Bivins, catalog #Cch-35. Information used for building included personal visits to MESDA, templates from the original, photographs in the Charleston book, and measured drawings by Carlyle Lynch.

Primary wood: Mahogany

Secondary woods: Poplar and Yellow Pine

Finish on exposed surfaces: Shellac and Wax

Dimensions: 45”H x 34 ½”W

Upholstery by Martinez Upholstery, Kansas City, Mo. Photography by Jim Mathis Photography, Overland Park, KS.

This is really not a difficult project, as I basically built the two frames in three days, then it took me nearly a year to finish them up and get them upholstered. It really took my wife and I that long to pick the fabric and to be ready to pay for it, too! Let me know what you think. Thanks, Cal

11 comments so far

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


969 posts in 2206 days

#1 posted 12-08-2009 08:48 PM

Very Very nice

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2758 days

#2 posted 12-08-2009 09:05 PM

Very nice work, I am looking at trying my hand at some of those!

View Joanne's profile


186 posts in 2283 days

#3 posted 12-09-2009 01:00 AM

I used to do upholstery for a living and I have been thinking about tackling something like this. Beautiful job! Do you have any pictures of your construction?

-- Joanne, New York,

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1853 posts in 2757 days

#4 posted 12-09-2009 03:07 AM

That is a beautiful chair!! Great job!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Rev. Jim Paulson's profile

Rev. Jim Paulson

119 posts in 2362 days

#5 posted 12-09-2009 03:17 AM


That is wonderful work. A wing chair project is featured in Franklin Gottshall’s book “Making Antique Furniture Reproductions” and it looks interesting for a future project. Thanks again for getting us interested in period pieces.



View FenceWorkshop's profile


269 posts in 2210 days

#6 posted 12-09-2009 05:43 AM

View a1Jim's profile


113815 posts in 2662 days

#7 posted 12-09-2009 05:48 AM

Great looking chair well done.

-- Custom furniture

View chobbs66's profile


39 posts in 2636 days

#8 posted 12-09-2009 07:40 AM

Thanks all for your comments.

Jim, call me crazy but I am not a big fan of Gottshall’s drawings, although some are definitely better than others. A couple of great upholstered chair plans are in Norm Vandal’s “Queen Anne Furniture”. That would be an excellent reference if someone wanted a starting point in my opinion.

I will try to add a picture of the unfinished frames. Thanks again, Cal.

View hickeymad's profile


158 posts in 2095 days

#9 posted 08-24-2012 06:50 PM

What does it cost for the upholstery on a chair like this? Nice work!

View chobbs66's profile


39 posts in 2636 days

#10 posted 08-24-2012 07:00 PM

It has been a few years, and my wife and I shopped around for a reasonable fabric.

That said, I think we paid around $800 for the upholstery in addition to about $150 of show fabric. I priced this with several local upholsterers to get the best price. And this was for both chairs.

Thanks for commenting. Cal

View Bertha's profile


12982 posts in 1778 days

#11 posted 08-24-2012 07:04 PM

Amazing. That’s not a bad price on the upholstry. It’s certainly a wonderful job.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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