We get a lot of unusual things into the shop but once in a while we get something that gets us talking. That was a few weeks ago when we acquired three beautiful Butterfly Back Windsor Chairs with Bamboo Turnings. It's not that we don't have any of this style chair in our inventory, but these three were different. The reeding on the butterfly section stood out as an unusual detail that I hadn't seen before in that style chair. Then I decided to place them and asked Mike if he had cleaned them and he said yes. The cobwebs said something else. We like to clean our inventory. While cleaning a piece it exposes its details from top to bottom and inside out. It allows us to see if anything has been changed, if something is loose, how it is constructed and whether it is marked. Being marked means a lot when it comes to Windsor Chairs and their makers. These chairs were no exception. They wanted to tell me their story. Normally a chair is signed or branded on the bottom. These three were an exception. While cleaning them I noticed a maker's branding on the back of the top of the seat where the spindles meet the chair. That branding was the letters T.R. on either side of the center spindles. My next step was to research the chairs online by their details and markings. Not getting anywhere I went back to the old way of researching. It was time to pull out my books on Windsor Chairs. I was thrilled to find the maker and information about him in Charles Santore's Book, The Windsor Style in America. Santore's book revealed the maker's name was Thomas Rain of Philadelphia. Rain worked at various addresses including Front Street, Water Street and Coombs Alley from about 1790-1815. Santore noted seeing the branding on a few styles of Windsor chairs. I believe that more of Rain's chairs may exist but the branding lies beneath what were probably painted Windsors. These chairs have hints of color on them that suggest they were originally a painted Windsor. I thought it was important for us to blog about the discovery and to document our 3 chairs. This way when someone googles his name our story will appear. Just adding a little to history!