Identifying Antique Chairs

Identifying the age and value of antique chairs can be difficult especially if there are no markings identifying the manufacturer. Careful research may yield helpful information. Professional appraisers are an option as well. This is a page about identifying antique chairs.

34 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I bought this chair at an auction about 10 years ago because I liked it. However, I have no idea how old it might be or even what style it is.

I would appreciate any help with those questions. Thank you.


February 12, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

I believe this is a Victorian era "gothic" Jacobean-style armchair, which could be worth $500 or more. (The newer upholstery fabric is in stark contrast to the style. Originally this would have been solid, in perhaps a jewel-tone.) I love the puppies on the armrests! Lions were frequently featured, but I think dogs are more suitable for the country-house or club where this chair might have felt at home.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

December 20, 2020

Does anyone know anything about these chairs? Any information is much appreciated! My dad has owned them for a long time and now has to decide what to do with them.

I wish I knew their story. Ive researched as far as I can get and all I found is that they are probably wainscot style. Thanks!


December 20, 20201 found this helpful
Best Answer

These have a 1950s Spanish revival style vibe to them, but sadly I have very little knowledge about in the genre as you don't see many like them in the Pittsburgh reselling world that I live in. I know they can be very valuable if that is indeed what you have, so I do encourage you to find someone where you are and take a chair and have them give it a look see.

I really don't see anything that leads me to believe they are Wainscot I am curious as to what you saw. Wainstcot style (to me) is usually bulky, solid back (not leather), much more ornate carving--the backs and seats, and they often have a severe (to me) shape to them. Don't look like a chair I could relax in.

Your chairs have a bit of whimsy in them with the decorative heel rest and elegant yet simple carving, but again, Wainscot style is not something we see a lot of in my resale world--so I could be totally off.

Post back what you learn!! Thanks for sharing!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Answer this Question

August 11, 2020

We have 6 of these chairs and would like to identify style and approximate age. There are no markings on any of them.


August 12, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Almost definitely mass produced (manufactured) chairs. I see these all the time and most of the time they are in repurposed furniture posts. Here are two examples--and both look almost identical to yours:

My best guess is they are early 1900s (or reproductions of that style)--maybe as old as the 1930s. I would need to see the construction--are they nailed, screwed, dowels, etc.

I see them called school house chairs, lathe back chairs, and restaurant/diner style chairs.

This one looks in pretty nice shape. I can't tell the wood--maybe tiger eye oak? Someone will need to see them in person to tell the wood--sometimes if they have staining (either wood stains like in the finish or stains or grain from age it is hard to tell what the wood is from a photo).

You may never be able to know the maker and selling them will be getting the right words into the ad and the right location to sell them to the right person--which is most likely going to be an in person venue--either flea market if you are adventurous or a resale/antique shop where someone can see, feel, touch and smell them.

Furniture values are very regional and supply and demand based.

Do you have open antique dealers that can help you price them for your town and your market? In some places these are a dime a dozen (which is where I see them turned into plant holders quite often--and flipped for good money too--so if you are artsy this may be an option for you) and in other places they are sought after by people trying to finish a period style room or even be used as props for a play or movie.

Selling chairs is always a challenge because there are so many factors. They have to be able to hold a person (we weigh more than our ancestors and old chairs were not designed to hold our new normal in weights), they have to not wobble, have no smells, be in good condition, fit the table at the right height, and more.

Hopefully you and find a good reseller to help you sell them for your market. Thanks for sharing!!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 16, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm not sure anyone can truly state the age without having a lot of knowledge in this field and seeing the chairs in person, but age for items like this is usually determined by past provenance so what do you know about the history of your chairs?
You could try posting your chairs on this site and see if anyone can help you.

In the past when 'shopping' I have seen similar chairs and most of the time people just refer to them as 'old' chairs as I'm sure there were thousands (maybe millions?) made during the period 1900-1940's but seem to have lost their value over time as the style just doesn't seem to work with most home decor in today's world.

Yard sale and flea market prices have always been $10 or less per chair ($40-$50 for 6) and some people will be buying to repurpose as not too many are into this 'color' for their homes.
I do occasionally see a repurposed single chair listed for sale on eBay or Etsy (probably on other sites also) but have not noticed any sold prices so no account of value there either.
Repurposed one or two chairs may sell but only if they are liked in your area as chairs can be very expensive to ship (freight usually).

Most of the time I see this style (and open spindle back models) called cafe or ice cream parlor chairs. Repurposed chairs may be called dining or side chairs and may be featured with a small table.

There are modern versions of this style that may be made of metals/wrought iron and sold as patio furniture.

If you're thinking about selling your chairs, you may have good luck with posting them for sale on sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, letgo, offerup, etc and list them as pickup only.
You could list them in groups of two but state that six are available. Starting price is up to you, maybe high $50-60 for 2 and see how it goes.
Age or brand may not matter as most are listed as vintage or mid-century.
Unless of course, you find that your chairs are 'special' and therefore more valuable.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

September 10, 2020

I have two chairs and a loveseat that my parents had before I was born. I'm trying to downgrade and having to sell a lot of big items but no clue of their worth.


September 10, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you are trying to downgrade and sell off some of this furniture I would like to suggest that you speak to an antique furniture dealer in your area. They know the prices in your area and it is best to sell this locally and not try and list it online. In each area, the prices vary so much. In one stay a person may only pay $50 for such a chair wherein another state they can pay up to $200 for the same chair. It would be so hard to give you a good price to sell these because I am not sure where you live and the exact market in your area. The people who understand this are the people who are in the business of selling off antique furniture. You can speak to them and as for their advice. I would not tell them that you are trying to sell this. I would go in and try to find out how much it is worth and tell them it is for insurance purposes. Once you find this out then you can use your local area Craigslist or even Facebook Marketplace to place the ads for selling this. Make sure you list pick up only and do not try and ship this off.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 10, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

While I agree that selling locally is probably your best way to go, I believe you need to know more about your pieces before you commit them to someone on consignment or even sell to a local shop.
Usually if you ask for information on value for insurance purposes you will be charged a fee as they will have to give it to you in writing (for insurance company records).

I'm not familiar with this type of furniture so I can only suggest you show your pictures on some of the sites and most likely you will find out what information you need to put a value on these pieces.

Your pictures are good but you should provide all of the past history that is available such as where your parents lived when this was purchased (also where you live). Also show condition of pieces and state if upholstery is original.

Please post your information on several sites so you will receive assorted information.

You will have to join some sites to be able to post.
Reddit is an excellent site but can be confusing. Join and if you have problems just contact the administrator and they will help you.

This site has several appraisers listed but I have used many and with this type of furniture, I believe you will have several answers within a few days.
They may suggest you take your furniture to a larger auction site if you want to get top dollar.

The table beside the chair is what fascinates me!!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

December 22, 2020

This chair has been in my family for generations. Very sturdy and strong. Needs touch ups, but very comfortable.

Was just wondering how much it's worth? If anyone has an idea, just drop me a message. Thanks!

Answer this Question

November 16, 2019

I have 2 of these chairs. Who is the maker and what is their time frame?


November 17, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

Great piece! I can see why it is a challenge to ID it!! It is an neat mix of mission and craftsman with a slight Victorian flare to it! Are you in the UK? It has an European look to it.

My guess (and this is just from photos which is always a challenge because you can't see, touch, feel the piece), but from pictures it appears to be a 1920s-40s piece.

If you have two, they may be master seats from a dining set, although the arms are a little thick for they could also have been banker/library/lawyer chairs.

Since this pieces may have some value to them, I suggest having a good and reputable vintage/antique dealer look them over and tell you what you have.

If you are asking to sell, they can help with values for where you are located!!

Please post back with what you learn!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

December 2, 2019

Can anyone tell me about this chair that was passed down in my family?


December 4, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

Wow! This is neat!

Do you know the approximate age? It appears old, but often there are new chairs made to look old.

Are you in the US? This looks like a South Asian gentleman (elder maybe) face smoking a hookah, which I find so unusual.

I am familiar with what we see in the US of chairs with carved faces of the North Wind and there is a popular theme of sailors with pipes, but this is quite unique.

My best suggestion would be to find a good vintage/antique store and take it there to see what you have and the value (if you are looking to sell).

I did a little digging since I found it so unusual and there is nothing I can find in any of my sources (most are US based so that may be why they aren't helpful).

My other thought is it may be hand made/hand carved, which depending on where you are located and the artist, could add value to it.

Since I love to learn about unusual pieces, I would be most grateful if you would post back what you learn!

Thanks for sharing!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

Can you tell me anything about this chair? I recently purchased a pair at an estate sale.

Thanks and I look forward to your response.


April 13, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

The M.C.A. is the name of the company and the 161 is the style/model number.

  • These are interesting chairs.
  • The MCA company is German so most information you find will be in German but they do have a distributor/store in the U.S. However, it appears that all they have is new & modern furniture.
  • This style of chair is called by several names but mainly called an arm chair.
  • Also called, library, accent chair, captains, or office desk chair.
  • You may have to seek information from an antique dealer because comparison shopping for this type of piece would never work.
  • You could Google antique shops with your zip code and maybe show a few of them some photos but they may not have any information on this chair.
  • I would suggest you get 2 or 3 appraisals and maybe someone will have some knowledge about these chairs.
  • Here are some links that state "free" appraisal but you should always check to be sure.
  • There is also a link to Barneby's but they charge $17 (usually well worth it).
Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

December 22, 2020

I'm trying to figure out how old this chair is and what style it is in. It is stuffed with horsehair, super solid and appears to be hand carved in a lot of the detail.


December 25, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

I am fascinated by the chair as I have not been able to find anything similar in my resources.

Are you in the US?

The chair almost has a religious vibe to it with what looks like a stylized cross on the back--but not exactly.

It also has a vibe from the Norwegian Tyldal chair--but different on that too.

The spool arms and the back just don't go together with the mission style/religious vibe back (to me)...which makes me wonder if this was not a hand crafted piece--by a loving wood worker who put all of his favorite things into his chair or if it was a custom piece maybe for a church.

In thinking about the date, coil springs were used in the 18th century, but horsehair stuffing was not used until the 19th century and into the very early 20th century--so unless it was restuffed, that gives an very vague age, I am guessing in the very early 20th century.

Another thing that is puzzling, is the stringing though looks much to new to original--it would not be so white if it was old--it would be yellow or I am guessing there was work done on it in the mid 20th century if not later.

Do you have the missing arm? It is going to take some fancy wood working to recreate the arm if you don't!

It is a neat piece!! Maybe an antique dealer in your town who is familiar with the artists/craftspeople in your area's history would recognize it right away!

Post back what you learn! Thanks for sharing!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

September 8, 2017

Does anyone know anything about these chairs? They are not quite rocking chairs, more like gliders. I cannot seem to find anything similar online.

I also found no markings or a manufacturer name on them, which is not helpful, but figured I would ask. Thanks.


September 8, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

I believe this type chair is called a platform glider or a platform rocker and has always been a popular style. Your chairs appear to be quite old but it is difficult to tell with photos.

You may find photos or listings of similar styles but probably not any just like yours so any prices were shown would only be a guess as very minor differences can make a big difference with antique/vintage furniture.

Here are some listings on eBay of similar chairs but without a name or marking they are not really much use when it comes to value but you can see what the public is calling the chairs. (These are only similar as these are Eastlake and Huntzinger makes.)

Here is a link to a Google search that will show you many makers/styles of this chair.

If you want to know more about your chairs I would suggest you post a question to one of the free antique appraisal sites as they can give you a lot of free information. Just be sure to upload several photos and especially side views. Here are a couple of links to get you started.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question
Load More
In This Page
Consumer Advice Collectibles AntiquesFebruary 13, 2018
Easter Ideas!
St. Patrick's Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2021-03-11 10:15:51 in 6 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2021 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.