What are ladderback chairs?

A Ladderback chair derives its name from the horizontal spindles back support that resembles a ladder. The chair has two uprights with many horizontal spindles and a high-back while the top spindle is something larger than the rest.

Popular in the 17th century the chair was a common fixture in homes, later furniture makers in England made them with quality material like oak for the luxury market.

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Features of Ladderback chair

  • Horizontal spindles back support
  • 2 uprights
  • High-back
  • Quality wood material
  • Frame material wood

History of Ladderback chair

Traditional ladderback were made from cane, however modern ones are made from wood. It’s history is traced back to the middle ages Europe by the 17th century the design was one of the most popular chairs in England and colonial America.

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Different name same product

Reminiscent of a ladder over the years the ladderback chair have been called different names by the manufacturers. Different names for ladderback are ladder – back, slatback chair.

Ladderback chair
Ladderback chair

Called by different names

  • Ladderback
  • Ladder – back
  • Slatback chair,

Fiddle back vs Ladder back

The fiddle back is a completely different chair from the ladderback however there are slight similarities in design. For example a popular Amish chair is the Amish Fiddle Windsor chair, the dining chair has a distinctive fiddle shaped central splat design among the spindles of the high-back chair.

In contrast the ladderback has slat back design completely different from the fiddle back. However most Windsor chairs have solid wooden seat with legs pushed into holes.

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Types of ladderback chairs

A known fixture in homes from the middle ages the ladderback chairs has a minimalist design is stylish and functional. The horizontal slat-back chair is built with solid wood making it durable and sturdy.

If you are looking to buy one there are many styles from the Modern ladderback, French Country Chairs, Farmhouse Chairs, Colonist.

More types of ladderback chairs are Antique Oak Ladder Back chairs, Vintage Ladderback Chairs, Ladder Back cane chair, Rustic Ladder Back chairs, Shaker ladder back chairs.

Types of ladderback

  • Modern ladderback
  • French Country Chair
  • Farmhouse Chair
  • Colonist
  • Vintage Ladderback Chairs
  • Antique Oak Ladder Back chairs
  • Ladder Back cane chair
  • Rustic Ladder Back chairs
  • Shaker ladder back chairs


Colonist chair is similar in appearance to traditional ladder back and perfect for dining room or living room. It resembles an antique replica of colonial America chair, however it has a high-back, curved seat with a tilted frame.

Farmhouse chair (Rustic Ladder back)

Farmhouse chair is perfect for everyday use, it has a rustic look, practical simple contemporary style. They are ideal for farmhouse dining bringing charm and elegance to the room.

Modern ladderback

Modern ladderback chairs are contemporary chairs with old school look. It has uniformity, clean slats of same or different width. They are mostly low to mid-back unlike the high-back farmhouse chair.

French Country Chairs

French Country Chairs are mostly ornamental or whimsical designed chairs, they are also elegant with scalloped back slats and detailed legs.

Shaker ladder back chairs

Shaker ladder back is a 19th century chair side chair with splint seat. Other types of Shaker chairs are Country vintage short shaker ladderback chair with handmade seat of Burlap bag, Ladderback Shaker Chair Mexican Hacienda.

Antique Oak Ladder Back chairs

Antique Oak Ladder Back chairs are made from oak or Solid ash material, they have rocking function with traditional look.

Questions and Answers

How much are old ladder back chairs worth?

Old ladder back chairs sell under $100

What era are ladder back chairs?

They are traced back to middle ages, however they became common in England in 17th century

How do I identify an antique Shaker chair?
To identify an authentic shaker look for one with antique specialty wood rocking or tilting legs

Are ladder back chairs sturdy?

The simplicity of the design has lasted for many centuries because they are sturdy and functional.


The ladder back chair is a great addition to your furniture because it is timeless, elegant and simplistic. The design has been in production for centuries with slight variations. This type of chair is one of our favorites because they work individually or collectively as dining chair.

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