Since it was first designed, the ladder back chair became popular across the

world. This is probably due to its strong construction. It could withstand

the rough handling of that era when there were many wars and migrations. It

was designed in a way that utilised the tools, materials and knowledge that

existed at the time. Whereas timber was plentiful, woodworking machinery was

limited or nonexistent. It was probably hard work at the time to produce a

single ladder back chair, but the people of that time were very patient.

Each rung of the ladder would, painstakingly, be made to perfection – by

hand. The mortise and tenon joints would then be meticulously made and

assembled. At the time, the chairs were made for practical use and so, the

finish would not get as much attention as is given premium grade furniture

of present day. Some were varnished while many were merely sanded down and

left. They were made of different kinds of hard woods and that is why many

have survived till today.

Ladderback chairs were simple in construction. They were not made to stand

out from the rest of the furniture. They had many practical uses ranging

from; sitting on, stepping on, to using as a rig to hang newly made candles.

Due to the limited variety of furniture at the time, these chairs were quite

handy to have around the house. They occupied little space owing to the

small seat area they had. Also, thanks to the ladder like back, they were

easy to carry around by simply tucking the back under the arm and clasping

one of the lower rungs. Ladderback chairs used such a little amount of

materials that, so many could be made from only a little wood. A popular

version of a ladder back chair was the rocking chair. This was widely used

and a big number of ladder backs were rocking chairs. Almost any movie set

at that time would have a ladder back rocking chair on the set. They had a

nostalgic effect on the older folk, and with good cause.

Even in all their simplicity, Ladderback chairs are rather good looking. It

is for this reason that they have been around for ages and yet, they never

lost their appeal. They are still being built in workshops across the world.

At the same time, the older ones are collectors’ items. They are sold as

antiques and can fetch quite tidy sums. Owing to their practical and often

rough use, it is difficult to find an antique ladder-back chair that is in

mint condition. Many have to be restored but this makes them lose value

significantly. The true antiques have to compete on the market place with

their newer counterparts made by dedicated artisans in modern

establishments, but using skills handed down over the ages. Whether it’s an

authentic, middle ages master piece, or a modern well-made imitation, one

has to admit, a ladder back chair is good looking.

While, probably, the first ladder back chair was made with straight pieces

of wood, many variations have been introduced over the generations. The

basic design concept however, remains the same. The most noticeable

difference is in the shape of the rungs. These have taken creative new

shapes in the newer versions. It is now possible to find Ladderback chairs

with intricately carved parts, and more so the back. This is probably what

has made the ladder back to be around for such a long time. The

possibilities of different designs are virtually endless. A ladder back

chair will always have a sense of newness which has not been possible with

most other types of ancient furniture designs.

We offer a wide array of furniture including a selection of ladderback chairs. Ladder backs have to be the ultimate farmhouse kitchen chair, we also stock various matching oak tables. Please feel free to contact us if you are looking for a complete set.

Author's Bio: 

Diane Kirby is the lead author for the UK based Wholesale Shoe Reviews website. Diane's primary responsibilities consist of article authoring, content creation and comment moderation for the review site. Diane has been working as the primary author both this site and many others for a number of years.