Comb-Back Arm Chairs
The first American made windsor chairs were comb-backs, referred to in the colonies as “Philadelphia Chairs.” A comb-back windsor chair derives its name from the chair’s back where all the spindles are of the same size and style and terminate in a broad handle giving the visual effect of woman’s hair comb. The spindles continue from the seat through the arm rail and terminate in a steam bent crest rail that extends beyond the back spindles as ears. The “common” comb-back has a steam bent single piece arm rail, however, some may have a two- or three-piece arm rail, referred to as a “heavy” arm. The seat of a comb-back is usually “D” shaped and the under carriage is notable for its bold turnings reminiscent of the Queen Ann style. The “arrow and barrel” legs on many comb-backs are one of the distinctive elements of the Philadelphia Chair, also known as a Philadelphia high back. Comb-backs are notably tall and give the general impression of being a big chair. To me, the comb-back is the most comfortable of the windsor chair styles.