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Chairs have been through numerous style changes over the years, decades and even centuries. Some chair designs are so classic or sought after that they've been reproduced, which may make it difficult to determine if that vintage or antique chair is an original or a more modern knockoff. Others feature upholstery fabric that pinpoints a particular era, such as olive green velvety fabric with large printed flowers from the s through s. Close inspection of the fabric or bottom of a chair typically reveals clues as to its age or origin. Antique chairs are those made more than years ago, while vintage chairs span the time up to the s. The fabric or upholstery on a chair is often the giveaway as to its age. If the fabric is an old tattered hand-stitched floral and white print that looks like it's nearly a century old, it likely is - fabric patterns tend to follow trends, even on furniture, so a print that seems completely foreign and unfamiliar, showing extreme wear and of unknown material, likely is actually old and not a reproduction.

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Mortise and tenon joints indicate that the antique chair was constructed prior to the midth century. Vertical softwood blocks came into use in the midth century, followed by the use of corner cleats in the early 19th century. A joint block that braces the sides while avoiding the corner indicates 20th century construction. Usually upholstered with carpet-style fabrics, these chairs can be dated with confidence to that narrow turn-of-the-century period. Tips Among early slat-back examples, look out for the two versions of Shaker rocking chair-the so-called "Sister's" and "Brother's" rockers, with the former being much slighter than the latter, while the latter's arms terminate in mushroom-shaped protuberances. Chairs as we know them have been around since at least the s. Before that, the chair was essentially a stool with a back, and only the head of the house or the upper echelon of society sat .

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Antique chair dating

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Find the period to which the antique chair belongs by evaluating its shape and comparing it to a chart or guide in a book or online. Each antique style has specific identifying features, often named after the reigning monarch of the time, or for the designer who created the style, such as Thomas Chippendale, Thomas Sheraton or George Laurie Brenner. Identifying Antique Furniture or Good Reproductions. When trying to identify antique furniture, dedicated antique hunters search for beautifully preserved pieces, armed with pins, magnifying glasses, spirit levels and all sorts of testing equipment. Dec 01,   When identifying antique chairs, it's important to have a basic knowledge of the significant design periods and the important types of chairs. A good place to start when identifying furniture is often to figure out what period it's from. Significant Furniture Design Periods. Elizabethan (-) Early American Style (-).

Fauteuil The fauteuil is a style of armchair originating in France. Morris The Morris chair has a large, deep seat and a high back that is adjustable, which is why it's often considered the predecessor of the modern recliner.

Unique Chair Styles.

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Corner Chair These armchairs typically have square seats that are situated diagonally, such that the chair can be smoothly tucked into a corner. Click thumbnail to view full-size.

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Chaise Longue Chaise longue literally means "long chair" in French, and it's exactly what it sounds like. Savonarola The Savonarola has the silhouette of a wavy X.

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Curule A curule is a cross-based chair or stool with curved legs in the shape of two U's. Side Chairs.

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Klismos This is a light chair whose front and back sets of legs flare away from each other. Wingback A wingback chair is a tall-backed, upholstered armchair. Windsor This chair originated in Windsor, England, in the early s.

Ways to Identify Genuine Antique Wood Furniture

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Antique chairs are those made more than years ago, while vintage chairs span the time up to the s.

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This is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Proportions in his design were important to Sheraton, who created refined, graceful and elegant chairs.

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Another feature of Sheraton chairs is the use of wood veneers on chair backs. A major telling feature of antique chairs starts from the floor and goes up; leg shapes help define the style and period to which the chair belongs.

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Chippendale and Queen Anne chairs typically have an S-curved cabriole leg with a knee and in-curved ankle. Other leg types include the saber, spiral and spider, tapered or straight leg. Designers often favored a specific leg type, such as the Marlborough leg, common on Chippendale furniture.

Compared to modern furnishings, antique chairs could have one of many foot designs. Common to Sheraton and Hepplewhite styles, the arrow foot has a pointed foot separated from the leg by a turned oval or ring. Claw and ball feet are often found at the end of a cabriole leg on Chippendale chairs, while tapered Federal legs and feet are found on Queen Anne-style chairs.

On American antique chairs, the ball and claw foot often consisted of an eagle's claw holding the ball.

Antique chair styles reflect the sensibilities of the periods in which they were manufactured. Listed below are some popular types of antique chairs that originated in Europe and the United States during the past years. A good number of those listed and defined below are . Determining the age of antique furniture is the first step in establishing a proper valuation, as well as verifying that the piece is indeed an authentic furnishing from the era in question. There is some detective work to be done if you want to really ensure that the antique is real, and a qualified inspector should be hired if you're spending any appreciable sum of money. Until then, following these . Jan 05,   By examining the shape and condition of the furniture nails and screws as well as the wood and finish, you can get a fairly good idea of when the furniture Author: Timothy Dahl.

Other chair feet include the Drake or trifid foot - a three-toed flared foot.

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