CollectiblesConsumer Advice

Determining the Age of a Couch

I have inherited my grandmother's sofa and cannot identify what era it is. It weighs about 700 pounds and I can't really flip it over. I'm about to reupholster it and I'm trying to find out what it would've looked like originally. Please help me save my dear little grandmother's sofa and at least find out what it is.

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April 12, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

First - it would be a very bad idea to change this sofa from the original before you find out the true value as changing ANYTHING could reduce the value by half or more. Of course, that all depends on the value and if you or anyone ever decides to sell the sofa.

  • Reupholstering would change/ruin the complete sofa for anyone who would be willing to pay "big" money as that just reduces it to an ordinary sofa.
  • Only a person dealing in antiques could tell you anything about your sofa.
  • If you decide to take pictures to an antique shop be sure to take better photos of the legs and front and ends as these are the distinctive marking of furniture.
  • You will also need photos of the condition of the sofa as well as cushions.
  • You would also need to know if any alterations have been done in the past as well as any time frame that your grandmother may have purchased the sofa and where she was living at the time (place of purchase - city/store/price paid).
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  • Gather as much information as possible - even if you cannot prove it.
  • You can also seek several on-line appraisals to help you with your quest.
  • Here are some sites that offer "free" appraisals but check them out for yourself.
  • Here is a link to Barneby's but they charge $17 for an appraisal.

Even if you plan to keep this sofa, you should know the value just in case you need to add it to your insurance policy.

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April 12, 20180 found this helpful

Since you cant turn over the sofa to see markings, your best bet would be to take the pictures to a dealer who specializes in antique furniture to get an opinion. This could be a knockoff of an expensive sofa, or the real thing.

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