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Identifying Antique Chairs

Category Antiques
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 guide about identifying antique chairs.
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February 28, 20180 found this helpful

Cane back chairs have been popular at varying times. Check underneath the chair for manufacturer information. You can also do internet image searches. If all else fails you might need the help of a professional. This is a guide about identifying a cane back chair.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 8, 2018

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.

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April 13, 20180 found this helpful
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The M.C.A. is the name of the company and the 161 is the style/model number.

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  • 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).
  • www.artifactcollectors.com/.../
  • antiques.lovetoknow.com/Free_Antique_Appraisals_Online
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  • www.barnebys.com/.../
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By 0 found this helpful
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.

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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.

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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. www.google.com/search?q=antique+platform+glider...

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.

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www.valuemystuff.com/.../how-it-works

dealers.antiquesnavigator.com/.../

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By 0 found this helpful
October 11, 2018

I have had this chair for about 30 years and before that it belonged to the aunt of one of my friends. I had it reupholstered years ago. I was wondering if anyone knows anything about it? Would it be considered a Bergere Victorian style? Any thoughts on its age or value?

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October 11, 20180 found this helpful

Nice chair!! Looks comfy!!

First, does the chair have any markings--they would be on the bottom most likely? If not, it will be harder to give a lot of info...but I will tell you my thoughts.

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I do not consider this a Bergere Victorian style because my understanding of this style is that all of the wood (around the back) would have to be exposed--like the example in the wiki--shows, which yours is not:

en.wikipedia.org/.../Berg%C3%A8re

I could be being too literal, but that is my understanding.

It definitely has a Victorian flair to it...and I were going to sell it and didn't have a maker or a year, I would call it vintage Victorian.

As to dating it...without a maker, it is hard to date it because there are styles and originals and remakes...so technically, if you had it for 30 years (going back to 1988) it could have been newer then...made to look like an old style.

The hard part about researching chairs for a non expert (I am not at the expert stage by any stretch...I am past novice, but no where near expert)...is that you will have almost an impossible time matching a SOLD version of your chair to any sold piece on any auction site...

I say this because 1 your recovered it, and two, chairs take a beating and there could have been more gingerbread trim that is missing and was repaired and replaced on yours (or on a close version on a website).

You can study this site to see if you can learn more about your piece by looking for like pieces (something I usually do not recommend but in this case it is the only tool available to you if you don't know exact history):

www.chairish.com/search?page_size=96&q=victorian+arm...

Perhaps an antique dealer could look at it and tell you exactly what it is and when it was made...but I am betting they may just be giving you their best guesstimate.

I wish I could be of more help...but I do hope at least the chairish website can help you learn more.

Good luck!! Thanks for sharing!!

PS if you do learn more and get a name and date, I can certainly help you with trying to value it...but I work best with facts...like names and dates!! Thanks!

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October 11, 20180 found this helpful

Im not sure of the style. You need to know who manufactured it. Look at the bottom and under the cushions for identifying markings

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October 11, 20180 found this helpful

My grandparents has similar furniture, which I'm sure they acquired in the early 1920s. I think it's beautiful!

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October 13, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I wish it had a manufacturer or some identifying feature but.. back in the day, when I had it reupholstered, I didnt have the antique value on my mind and didnt consider looking for identifying features. I do know that it had at least 40 years of wear before I took ownership of it. It belonged to an elderly Aunt of a good friend. That would put it at least into the 1950s. I will keep doing my research and hopefully will be able to narrow it down a little bit more. It does have some detailing in the woodwork that may help. I think I may also have a side view of the chair taken before it was refinished. Thanks again for the info and the websites that you have shared. I appreciate your help!

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October 13, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you for your response. I wish I could, however, I had it refinished many years ago and didnt think to do that at the time.
The bottom of the chair was also recovered so it does not have any visible markings. I know its at least 70 years old but... not sure how much older beyond that it is.
Thanks for your reply!

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October 13, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks so much for your response. I do think it is a beautiful piece. Im thinking about having it refinished again. It has taken a beating in the last few years.
Im guessing that your 1920s estimate is about right. I know its at least 70 years old... just not sure how much older beyond that!
Thanks again. Have a great day!

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October 13, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks for the additional info!! If I am able, I will try to figure out some more on this....it fascinates me as it is so lovely!! If I learn anything, I will repost!! Thanks again for sharing!!

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By 0 found this helpful
December 5, 2018

Any idea on how old these chairs are? I don't know much about them, but they are in pristine condition?

Answers

December 5, 20180 found this helpful

Turn the chair over and look for markings. Without a marking it will be hard to identify and assess value.

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December 6, 20180 found this helpful

Do your rungs match this one:

www.ebay.com/.../172814330497?hash=item283c896a81...

If so, it MAY be an Eastlake chair. I don't think there are knockoffs of this brand, but in the furniture world it is hard to always say that with all positivity!

If so, you can watch this auction and if it sells it will give you a general value for yours!

It is quite lovely!!

You many never find an exact fabric match, as people loved (and still love) to change out fabrics as trends change, but the lovely lines of the chair usually (although not always) remain the same.

Please remember, asking price is NOT value, it is what the seller wants to get. Value is what someone pays for it today. This changes daily too....although usually not a lot!

Happy selling if that is what your aim is. If so, post back and I can give you some easy, peasy selling pointers!

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December 6, 20180 found this helpful

The Eastlake name is used a lot but it is not a "brand name" it is what is called a Victorian "movement" and anyone can claim to have an "Eastlake" piece of furniture.

  • It seems a gentleman by the name of Charles Locke Eastwood was an architect and made some designs that many companies used to produce his "style" of furniture.
  • He was never involved in any company that produced furniture but his Eastlake style designs were very popular; but it appears none were ever copyrighted so anyone could use them.
  • Here is quote Eastlake once made:
  • He is quoted, "I find American tradesmen continually advertising what they are pleased to call Eastlake furniture, the production of which I have had nothing whatever to do, and for the taste of which I should be very sorry to be considered responsible."
  • There may be a brand name on the bottom of your chair but probably not, as many of this style chair was manufactured in the early 1900 and some at later dates.
  • Many believe this style chair was originally made with cane bottoms/seats and many have been covered with needlepoint or fabric instead of having them recaned.
  • Such as this chair:
  • www.ebay.com/.../323585656210?hash=item4b57354592...
  • Most of these chairs will be difficult to give a true production date for that very reason - no brand name and no history. The movement was popular during the 1890-1910 but furniture stating "Eastlake" could have been made at any date since then.
  • Your chair looks to have some age but when was it made? I cannot come up with an answer because any piece you see listed will only have the information the seller supplies and we would have no way to verify it.
  • You can read about how all of this Eastlake name came about:
  • www.thesprucecrafts.com/identifying-eastlake-furniture-148840
  • www.museum.state.il.us/.../ms_eastlake.html
  • leodesignnyc.com/.../who-was-charles-eastlake
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December 6, 20180 found this helpful

Cool info, cybergrannie! I had a brief go round love affair with Victorian furnishings back in the late 1980s and clearly my memory from this time is hazy and wrong! I used to covet those chairs and even started a cross stitch sampler with pink and roses on a blue background for if I ever could afford one. Sadly, I never was able to get one and then moved on to dog friendly, functional style furniture :)

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December 8, 20180 found this helpful

We often "sacrifice" for our pets!
I like some of this style furniture but I still have my "nice" furniture mostly from early 1960's and I and my pets are very happy with these friendly old pieces; no matter their value.

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November 9, 2018

I recently received a quote to reupholster some chairs and was curious as to whether or not it was worth the investment?

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November 9, 20180 found this helpful

Who manufactured these chairs? Will you reduce the value of you re-upholster them? You need to find this out. Assuming they are not valuable, if the frame is solid and you like them, it is probably a good investment to reupholster them

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November 9, 20180 found this helpful

I believe these Kimball Victorian chairs or a nice reproduction.

www.ebay.com/.../292709669580?hash=item4426db1acc...

They are quite valuable as you can see this one sold for a very tidy sum!!

If they are the real thing, they are quite valuable, at least where I am, and I would not recommend reupholstering them if you are thinking about selling them in the future.

If they were mibe, I would take the chairs or good photos to a reputable antique dealer and have them confirm what they are and if it is better to keep them intact.

Post back what you learn! They are quite lovely!!!

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November 10, 20180 found this helpful

Yes thank you! I started looking a little closer at them, after I made this post.
I believe you are correct. The word Victorian is imprinted on the back left leg of each.

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November 10, 20180 found this helpful

After creating this post , I looked at the chairs a little closer.
I believe they are Kimball Victorian mahogany, mid 20th sentry.

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November 10, 20180 found this helpful

I believe you have a pair of Kimball lady and gentleman's Victorian parlor chairs. Your lady's chair is the most unusual.
This style is also sometimes listed under other styles; such as Hollywood Regency.

You should look on the bottom of your chairs as they hopefully will have some paperwork stapled on the seat or wood bottom.
I feel sure these are genuine (but they could be reproductions made by Kimballs's in the 1970's) as usually the "fake" ones are in styles that would sell for a lot more money as most likely these are from the 1950-60's but are still usually selling for a nice chunk of money.

  • Generally these will sell for more money when offered by high end antique stores (even these stores sell on eBay). One reason items like this sell for more money when offered by dealers is because people many times feel they can rely on the dealers knowledge of the style/type of piece offered.
  • Another reason is because many feel the dealers will know how to ship the item safely (unless it is pick-up only).
  • Most small sellers will have to list as "pick up only" and this limits their marketing area to a "Craigslist" field. Not that this is really bad but it does narrow the market field and many times the value. Take a look at this listing and you will see the difference in a "professional" listing compared to the ordinary seller.
  • www.ebay.com/.../223177348207?_trkparms=aid%3D222007...
  • If you do any research for your chairs you will find there is a wide difference in the styles - number of tuffs in the back / front seat style / arm styles / wood designs / (most leg styles are the same) / material / condition.
  • www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-ab&tbm...
  • This just means that valuing your chairs will have to be done mostly by your research and by personal sight of your chairs. It is very difficult to tell the condition of furniture from most regular pictures.
  • If you plan to sell your chairs anytime in the future then you definitely should not have them redone as this would lower the value. It would not matter if they were redone in the same type of material or how good a job - it would reduce the chair's value considerably.
  • I'm not sure if you wish to change the overall look but you cannot change the Victorian look so it may just be a new color/condition you are after so that would be a personal choice.
  • You can always check out the chairs that are listed for sale on eBay (ignore asking prices and only use sold prices for truer value) but you can place a watch on similar chairs to see if they sell. These items change daily/weekly so you may have to check frequently if you are interested in the selling prices of similar chairs.
  • www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313...
  • There will always be a difference in asking and sold prices mainly because many sellers do not know the true value of their pieces or they just want a quick sale or the area they live in is not conducive to this type of furniture (most areas will not be into this style of furniture).
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November 10, 20180 found this helpful

You have an amazing set of chairs! If you are going to love them and don't care about resell value, enjoy and get them done. If you care about value, leave them be and maybe consider a lovely throw to get them to your aesthetic need until you decide to sell. There are no rules here. Just facts for you to have good info and make decisions that meet your needs!

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