I found this chair a week or two after I first read Michael Owen Jones’ remarkable Craftsman of the Cumberlands, about Kentucky chairmaker Chester Cornett, which includes an image of a similar “settin’ chair”. This style was popular across much of the Upland South. Its back posts tilt and spread gently outward, making it a bit more comfortable than chairs with straight vertical backs. Like Cornett’s chairs, this was made without glue or nails, using a combination of dry and wet wood. The natural shrinkage of the drying wood locks the joints securely together. In another similarity to Cornett’s work, this has a seat that was woven from long, hand-drawn strips of inner bark, which dry into a tight, springy surface.

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