It's common to hear a ladder-backed chair called a “Shaker Chair”— in the 19th century, the Shaker communities built beautiful chairs and sold many throughout the United States; so much so, that their name became synonymous with a style of chair that had been in common use for centuries before. Yet at the same time as the Shakers were marketing their chairs, a host of contemporaries also existed across our country–and as one of these makers, ladder-backed Tappan Chairs have become an iconic and treasured part of their region's history since the first one was created in 1819.
Evolving directly from mid-19th century patterns used by Daniel Tappan and his children, the current Tappan Chair line evokes an image of sturdy simplicity and does justice to the many historic Tappan Chairs which can still be found in local homes to this day. In keeping with the tradition of the business, the wood selection offered is comprised of the woods “at hand” in the local town and region. Historically, Tappan Chairs were predominantly combinations of hard maple and white ash–choices reflective of the need for rugged durability in 19th century household furniture. In recent times, they have responded to popular calls for fine local furniture woods such as cherry and walnut, which take the smooth and simple lines of their historic chairs and give them an elegant turn—for a beautiful and surprisingly contemporary feel which highlights what the brand has become over nearly two centuries of evolution: a line of fine furniture.
Crafted since 1819 in Sandwich, New Hampshire, Tappan Chairs are not reproductions–they are the real thing. Having two hundred years of this tradition, in your home? That's what makes the difference between any chair, and a Tappan Chair.