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hosman321
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« on: March 26, 2010, 03:05:50 AM »

Bought this chair today, trying to determine the age. It's a faded green color, the color looks funky in my pics. It appears hand carved, or at least carved with some sort of hand tool. I can see tiny chisel marks. I don't know though, I know nothing about old furniture. I'm having a hard time determining if this was made in the 1900's or the 1940's. Not good at this. Tried to look up furniture dating sites but it seems complicated and usually a trained eye is better than reading online. Thanks for any info!
By the way, when I press on certain parts of the fabric is seems a bit stiff and crackly inside. Doesn't feel like stuffing or foam. What did they use inside these old chairs? The second pic is the fragile, thin fabric under the chair.
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regularjoe2
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2010, 03:25:19 PM »

Cool little chair , hosman321 .

As to the question about the cracklin' stuff inside your chair ....

I've seen many types of 'fillers/batting/stuffing' inside of old upholstered furniture , including , but not limited to - straw , cedar shavings , wood excelsior , horsehair , paper , human hair , animal hair/wool , cut-up or shredded fabric , grasses & other vegetable matter , shredded plastic .....

Several of these types of 'stuffing' get crisp , after some time .

The fun (& icky) part is opening them up & seeing what's makin' all the noise !
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KC
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2010, 03:43:09 PM »

Agree with regjoe stated.....but I add caution. If you would want to resell.....use caution in opening up to see what is inside.  Many things are devalued if the insides are removed. However, the insides can help determine the time line!

Any markings?

Appears French in design.  D&b would nail this instantly! 

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« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 03:56:51 PM by KC » Logged

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luxetveritas
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2010, 05:20:02 PM »

I was thinking French as well, maybe late 1890's? I'll let D&b solve this one Wink
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hosman321
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2010, 06:14:03 PM »

Thank you for the input guys. No markings at all. My best guess right now is the 20's after looking at all the different styles online. The problem is that I have no clue what to look for. I see chairs just like this on ebay from the 1870's-1970's. Same exact design and everything, I can tell it's not 1970's cause the fabric is so incredibly faded and fragile. And the weird "stuffing." D&B can probably tell the date instantly and can tell me what to look for.
I plan on keeping it not reselling it, but I'd hate to look to see what's inside and tear something. It's not really fit for sitting it. The wood is solid and strong but the seat is far from sturdy and tiny nails or springs poke out of the underneath. I just bought it to look pretty. I won't refinish or reupholster it, original is always my preference. Even if it's not totally functional. Thanks again guys, I'd love to know it's age. I'd be thrilled if it were from the 1890's, but I have a feeling it's a bit newer.  Do you think I overpaid for it at $100? I thought it was a fair price for being at an antique store. It was $130 but I talked them down. Smiley
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talesofthesevenseas
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2010, 06:46:59 PM »

Beautiful chair! Sometimes little fibers of the stuffing will drop out on their own, or you might possibly see more by shining a flashlight through the fabric on the underside of the seat, without having to take anything apart.

Excelsior is thin straw-like stuff that looks like this:


Could be horsehair stuffing too:


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talesofthesevenseas
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2010, 07:11:28 PM »

I'm gonna take a guess that the upholstery isn't original, because it looks like two different sets of nails going on under there. Also I am thinking there would be more fading and wear if it were original. Maybe D&B can make the call on that too? I wonder if his computer went belly-up on him again?
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hosman321
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2010, 04:12:30 AM »

Thanks for the great idea of shining a bright light through the bottom. A mag-lite worked wonders! The best I can describe the inside of the seat is as follows:

If there is stuffing in the seat I couldn't see it because it was above the burlap. The upper inside was a big piece of burlap, the middle had large springs. The burlap was tied to the springs with hand-knotted rope. The bottom was strips of burlap. I tried to take pics but it's very hard to take pictures through fabric! Who knew?
It looks a lot like that pic tales provided with the excelsior. The springs protrude out just like that too.
I also took a picture of the color difference between the exposed fabric and the fabric in the cracks. It used to be a very dark emerald green color but now it is brownish/yellowish.

Oh yeah, and Tales mentioned the two different rows of nails, showing that maybe it had been reupholstered. But then I looked at the excelsior pic again and mine is just like that. One row holding the thick supporting burlap in place. And the second row of smaller nails to hold on the bottom fabric piece.

« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 04:16:45 AM by hosman321 » Logged
talesofthesevenseas
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2010, 11:49:46 AM »

Glad that light helped to be a look higher up at least! Sounds like you've got only one upholstery job going on there too! Cool!  Grin On my rocker you could see lots of unused nails still in the wood, so it doesn't sound like that is what is going on with yours at all.
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