Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs

Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs

Regular price $5,800

Ah! What pleasant visions haunt me as I gaze upon the sea! All the old romantic legends, all my dreams come back to me. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

{HISTORY}

Just like Longfellow wrote in his 1850s poem, The Secret of the Sea, this rare pair of antique steamship deck chairs contains all the romance of oceanic travel during the height of the Victorian era. 

Wrapped up in the carved, curved and polished details of wood and cane, these two antique loungers contain three different aspects of history that combine stories of maritime travel, furniture making, and the passionate pursuit of collecting. 

Held in the private collection of an East Coast antique lover for the past 70 years, these two chairs have been passed down through one family since the 1950s. Although unmarked as to maker or manufacturer, it is believed that they were made in England in the late 1800s expressly for the ocean liner industry. At that time due to demand,  several different companies made folding steamer chairs of similar style and shape in Europe, the U.K. and America, but because not all of them were marked, some chairs retain an extra dose of mystery. Such is the case with these two here.

Between the 1890s and early 1900s, it is estimated that over 700,000 people a year were traveling back and forth between America and England via ocean liners. These ships carried affluent vacationers, immigrating families and independent travelers each confronting their own destinies as they traded one port for another. On board, offering deck-side rest and relaxation, these two chairs sat under the stars and the sun, always ready for passengers interested in taking in the sea-air. 

Typically, such finely made chairs as these would have been arranged on the promenade decks of the luxury class where they were exposed to all sorts of colorful life, conversation and characters.  In them, passengers ate, drank, slept, snacked. They read, chatted, hoped, dreamed. They laughed, cried, planned and pondered the possibilities of life, love, and future pursuits that lay ahead as the ship steamed its way across the water.  Famous. Non-famous. We'll never know who specifically these chairs entertained as they share no secrets of their previous guest list rosters. But their potential of having been involved in the trans-atlantic escapades of influential, note-worthy Victorian and Edwardian members of society are great. Included here in this listing is a photograph of Teddy Roosevelt aboard Norway's Queen Maud in 1910 with similar deck chairs in the foreground. 

As fine examples of Victorian furniture design, this style  of lounge chair follows popular trends of the late 1800s to the 1930s. Wooden chairs featuring cane bottoms and backs offered a delicate alternative to the heavy, cumbersome, overstuffed furniture that was commonplace throughout much of the 1800s. By the 1870s, cane furniture came into vogue as it was lightweight, elegant, and easy to move around, offering an appealing sense of mobility and freedom - two attributes the Victorian era encouraged. With the added benefit of folding, these chairs promoted comfort, style, and ease of use as they could quickly be set up, moved around or stowed away at a moment's notice.  

The collector who spotted these chairs in a Connecticut antique shop in the 1950s was not only an admirer of history but also a builder and restorer of furniture. In these two sea-worthy marvels, he recognized their romantic nature and also their quality construction. Needing some repair, he re-caned them himself by hand and displayed them in his restored 1700s era home for many decades. In the early 2000s,  the chairs journeyed to a relative in coastal New York where they once again enjoyed views of the ocean for a time. Prompted by a move out west, where they no longer quite fit in with the surroundings,  the chairs were carefully wrapped up and stored away, where they have rested for the past 15 years.  In remarkable shape, thanks to the family's good care, the chairs have little to no condition issues, other than a small patch of caning that needs some repair and some light scuffs on the legs that lend authenticity to their 100 years of life. 

Now ready for a new home, a new view and new caretakers, these chairs are all set to embark on the sea of adventure once again. Survivors of a century, they are still fully functional, and make fantastic indoor sunbeds, outdoor recliners and instigators of curious conversation for all you history buffs, maritime lovers and furniture aficionados. 

 {SPECIAL FEATURES}

- Pair of two

- Unique details include decorative design, lounge style, bottom and back caning panels

- Folding ability

- His-and-Her style

- Rare find

- Free shipping

{CONDITION}

Both chairs are fully functional and fold easily. There is one small area where re-canning is required on one chair, and there are a few minor scuffs on some wooden areas as expected with age. Otherwise, overall in lovely antique condition. Photos were taken in both the sun and the shade so that you can see the rich color and quality of the wood.  

{SIZE}

Each chair measures 55" inches (length) x 32" inches (height) x 22" inches (width) 

{A NOTE ON SHIPPING}

These chairs qualify for free shipping from Scottsdale, Arizona, and will be professionally packed and shipped via UPS. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.  If you have any questions regarding shipping timeframes or would like to include special delivery instructions, please let us know.

Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs
Rare Antique Steamer Chairs - Pair of Two circa late 1800s - Victorian Folding Deck Chairs