Restoration of a mid 18th century walnut corner commode chair.       

Corner chairs developed in the early 18th century as a form/construction style of chair, not necessarily to fit in a corner but certainly ideal for it as they fit and appear much more comfortable within a corner than a conventional chair does. The arrangement of the square frame but set at 45 degrees, enabled the three legs to continue up to support a nicely curved combined back and armrest. Likely a forerunner to the smokers bow type of windsor chair.

The earliest examples are similar to this one, being of walnut, with turned supports, vase shaped back splats mounted between a lower 'shoe' and the near semicircular back and arm rest, frequently with a cabriole form front leg.  Later versions incorporate more classical forms and delicate proportions until the Edwardian form which tends to be more frail than graceful looking.

Commode chairs are found in many styles, the 'corner' chair being one of them, and this one having its pot set beneath a wooden seat, itself beneath the top removable upholstered seat. The chair frame rails are in a very wide form creating a shaped apron which conceals the pot within.


  Loose and broken joints, missing parts and previous poor repairs.

From its appearance one might presume it is not worth restoring, however on close examination it is quite realistic to bring it back to a desirable original condition.


Above. The previously replaced leg is part of a beech Windsor type chair, quite unfortunate to loose the original leg but quite possible to make a perfect correct replacement.

Above. Some of the damage to the top arm rail.




Completed chair.  All repairs done using authentic matching timber and style, much of the existing finish has been conserved. The loose seat frame repaired, re-webbed etc. with original covering and stuffing retained within.