Originally, it was professionally upholstered; however, somewhere down the line a novice attempted to recover it.
Nails were used to reinforce the joints. This is the worst infraction anyone can do to furniture. It's counterintuitive and weakens the joint instead.. DIY upholsterers, repeat after me, "no more nails in dowel joints", Some of them were very reluctant to come out.
The only way to fix a weakened joint is to take it apart, remove the old glue and glue it back together again.
As I reassembled the chair, I kept thinking of Humpty Dumpty. "all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I think they should have called me because I have a thing for putting things back together. I enjoy the challenge. It's restorative and reinforces my resolve that anything can be fixed and restored maybe not in the exact same way, but in a "new normal" kind or way. Excuse me for getting a little more deep in thought, but that's how DIY works for me. It allows me to challenge, reach and persevere just as I do in the everyday.
I had clamps on the seat joints. I removed them before I took this pic. Down below, I had to improvise because one, I didn't have enough large clamps and two, clamps are bulky so you can't always clamp front to back and side to side simultaneously.
Now that this chair is back together again, it's time to spring forward (pun intended) and attempt to reinstate these springs. The last and only time I tied springs, I was taking an upholstery class and partially tore a ligament in my thumb. After that I went straight into retirement:) Upholstery is hard on the hands!
I sure hope I remember how to do the eight way hand tied process. Successful or not, I will let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!