Learn about Balloon Back Chairs

A Victorian dining or drawing room chair, the quintessential symbol of the Victorian era. The back upright is waisted just above the seat, widening to a rounded curve at the top rail, forming a balloon shape. The chairs were popular from the 1830s until the end of the 19th century. British balloon back chairs were usually made from mahogany or walnut, while the Australian version was made in cedar or sometimes Huon pine. They were made in a multitude of variations, as anyone who has tried to find a matching chair to a set, can attest.
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A set of four early Victorian balloon back chairs, circa 1840, the balloon back chairs each with carved scroll and fleur-de-lys embellishments to the mid rail, stuffover seats and raised on slender baluster legs with toupie feet, upholstered in floral line

Four Victorian mahogany balloon back chairs with turned faceted front legs

A set of four Victorian mahogany chairs, second half 19th century, the balloon back chairs each with a curved mid rail with a foliate motif in relief to stuffover seats with square seating rails and raised on ball and baluster legs; upholstered in gold and

A set of four Victorian mahogany balloon back chairs, 19th century, the waisted chairs with a foliate carved mid rail above a square stuffover seat, upholstered in deep maroon/brown leatherette and raised upon knopped and fluted baluster legs and toupie fe

A set of four Napoleon III mahogany chairs, circa 1880, the chairs with shaped balloon backs and floral carved and pierced crests, with padded backs and stuffover serpentine shaped seats and curvaceous legs, upholstered with fern sprigged mid green jacquar

A set of four Victorian balloon back chairs, mid 19th century, the chairs with a squared back and a shaped mid rail with a circular Celtic style motif to the centre, drop in seats and tapering turned and reeded front legs, splayed to the rear; upholstered

Set of four Victorian Irish walnut balloon back campaign dining chairs by Ross & Co, Dublin with scroll moulded horizontal splats on turned baluster legs

A set of four Victorian walnut balloon back chairs with carved details and turned legs.

A set of four Victorian mahogany balloon back chairs, circa 1890, of typical waisted form with a rounded crest, and a scrolled mid rail with a pierced floral motif above a shaped stuffover seat in olive green velvet, on a cabriole leg. Height 86.5 cm

A set of ten mahogany chairs, six late Victorian, four later, balloon back chairs of simple C scroll design, stuffed over seats terminating in turned and carved baluster legs. Height 89 cm. Width 47 cm. Depth 55 cm

A set of four Victorian rosewood framed balloon back dining chairs, the open backs surmounted by floral carving in high relief, the overstuffed upholstered seat raised on cabriole legs with stylised shell carvings at the knees.

A set of four Victorian mahogany dining chairs, circa 1850, the balloon back chairs with carved knot back rail above tufted seats with front turned legs and out swept legs to the rear. Height 86.5 cm

A set of four Victorian dining chairs, attractive squared balloon back with carved decoration and cabriole legs.

A Victorian set of four balloon back dining chairs in mahogany, standing on cariole front legs and with carved and pierced decoration to the backs. Height 86 cm

A set of four 19th century cedar balloon back dining chairs