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Antique Furniture/American walnut chair


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QUESTION: Hi.  Would love to know the value of a chair I own.  I've been told it is walnut and early 1900s.  It has a very old label inside that reads "Grand Ledge Chair Company."  I understand that company was located in Michigan.  It is a strong chair yet very graceful, and the wood is lovely.  Its condition is excellent for its age.  Could you please help me know its value?  Thank you!

ANSWER: Hi Dorothy,

While your chair may be in clean condition a single chair like yours does not fetch
a whole lot of money in the market place. I place a value of $45.00 to $50. on the

The big problem is to find someone to purchase the chair.

With today's new buyers that are to support the furniture industry, the interest in
older furniture has fallen off the face of the earth.

Give a person the choice between and I-Phone or an I-Pad, they will opt for the
latest piece of electronics gear and stand, rather than sit.

My business takes me across the entire country and I am sorry to say I am watching
the entire marketplace being turned upside-down.

Sorry to say the world is changing, quite rapidly and old things and history do not
count much anymore.

Best Wishes.

George E. Harrison III


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for carefully considering the value of my chair.  I do agree with everything you say about the world changing and old things going unappreciated.  I wonder, however, if the estimate is a bit low given the walnut wood?  The swirls and stripes are quite amazing.  And the chair's strong build speaks to a level of manufacturing expertise that just does not seem to exist anymore.  Just tonight the other half went through a machine caned chair from Taiwan that he was sitting on.  He's ok, but it is the end of the road for the chair.

Hello again Dorothy,

I am sure I could tell you that your chair is worth $500. because of it's wonderful
choice of wood and it's fine build quality and how it put's the current third-world
imports to shame and also that you will need to create a lottery for the chair to
deal with all the eager buyer's that will be up to acquire it.

You are going to have to trust me on this one.  After 42 years in the antiques business,
I have been watching the transformation of this industry while keeping an eye on the
people that are out there spending the money in our present economy.

While you and I might have been to appreciate and objects beauty and build quality
like an army tank, that is not necessarily what a younger audience perceives as cool!
Maybe if it had an attachment for holding and I-Phone you could attract more buyers.

The fact of the matter is that single, non-antique chairs that are not of a spectacular
form do not draw attention in today's real world. No matter how well they are built
and how beautiful the wood might be. Hey, colored plastic looks good to today's buyers!

Now, perhaps you can prove me wrong and find the one person in a million that will be
willing to pay more for your chair.  Being in the trade, over the years, I see
people throwing chairs, like yours, out on trash day, only to have someone come along
and pick it up on trash day, then contacting me to see what value it may have.

While I am not sure of where you reside in the country I can tell you that along the east
coast, where I reside, you might be amazed what folks are throwing out in the trash.

Best Regards,

George E. Harrison III
like yours on trash day

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George E. Harrison III


I am able to answer most questions pertaining to the authenticity,collectability and values of high-end reproduction furniture. As an example, quality furniture produced by leading manufacturers such as Baker, Kittinger, Kindel, Saybolt-Cleland furniture companies. I must have at least one photo for advice. PLEASE READ: No questions will be answered without a photo. View our website at for a sampling of our expertise.


For the past 40 years I have been dealing in the appraisal, buying and selling of fine, pre-owned antique and reproduction furniture. Over the years we have served leading museums, governmental institutions, Fortune 500 companies as well as private collectors. View our website at for a sampling of our expertise. Also, be sure to read our testimonial page.


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Philadelphia College of Art Study for cabinetmaking.

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