Vintage & Antique Chairs FAQs
How do I identify an antique chair?
Chairs have been around for thousands of years so working out just how old your chair is may take a bit of experience. The best way to start is to look at a chair you already know the age of to look at how it was constructed and how it has aged. Looking at the details helps. Even classic designs such as wingbacks or dining chairs will often contain elements that were fashionable at the time. Ecclesiastical elements were popular during the Gothic Revival period c1850-1880, simple elegant oak during the Arts & Crafts Movement of c1880-1920, minimalist and modern materials such as chrome tubing from the 1920s-today. Original patina (a natural finish which emerges over time) will give you a clue about how old the chair is but just because the chair is dark don’t assume it is old. Chairs were fumed with Ammonia during the 19th Century to artificially darken them and we have used spray stain since the 1920s onwards.
Are Vintage Chairs valuable?
The simple answer is yes and no! While all usable old chairs will have some value, age is rarely a core reason. Condition will naturally play an important part, but rarity and desirability are the most important variables. A very plain chair that was made in large quantities will naturally have less value than one designed by a leading industrial designer or company and limited to only a few examples. Because all chairs basically do the same job, the overall style and look of each vintage chair matters. Chairs say a lot about a room, so people really like examples which are somehow sculptural or stand out visually. When it comes to exact values, then it is best to research other similar examples via the internet to help you understand its financial desirability and then adjust that price depending on the condition. Re-upholstering or re-caning a chair can be quite expensive but also add real value.
Are antique Rocking Chairs valuable?
Love them or hate them, antique rocking chairs can be great fun to own and use. Because they have a very specialist role, most rocking chairs tend to be worth only a few tens of pounds to a few hundred pounds depending on the look. There are some more valuable examples but these are usually by key designers or are historically important. You can usually do a bit of research online to find the value of other similar chairs, but mostly rocking chairs are loved and purchased for practical use and are far less desirable if damaged.
Where can I buy Antique dining chairs from?
Dining chairs are always one of the most sought out chairs but need to be strong enough for daily use. Although the construction is simple, old dining chairs often require quite a lot of TLC to ensure they are in great usable condition. For this reason, when shopping for antique dining chairs online it is always best to purchase them from a reputable antique dealer such as those on LoveAntiques who will usually do that hard work for you. Although auctions may seem like a good way to source cheap chairs, the subsequent restoration costs can make it an expensive decision. Overall large groups of matching chairs are always more desirable than single or odd examples, but today we are happier to mix and match different chairs so buying odd examples can be a great way to save money and create a unique look.