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Murphy Chair
Murphy Chair  

Good afternoon.  My wife just brought 6 Murphy chairs and we don't know a lot about them or value.  The seems to be in great shape.  Very tight.  They are natural with without any finish. I have seen the flower design in a chair my aunt had but it was a dark stained wood.  We have the seats that go in each chair.  My wife is wanting to paint them a pastel color, but I'm saying lets find out more about them.  A label in the chair has 'Murphy 358'.

Thanks for any advice or information on these chairs. Maybe the 'feel good" price.
I hope I can add pictures this time.

Thanks again.


sorry but i cannot give 'feel good' pricing as it is a disservice to everyone for many reasons.  I think you were probably joking with me since i wrote in the instructions page or somewhere that i dont give 'feel good'.

i will gladly give fair market value in the condition shown and often will give FMV in restored condition.  Since i actively buy antique, collectable, and vintage furniture every month and sell as well I have a good idea of what things sell for in reality out of houses, auctions and in shops.  I dont use a book as those are good only for the folks that wrote the book--they get paid up front and on and on for the writing.

your chairs are from the mid 1940s, the seats are called slip seats and are attached by four screws.  the shape of the leg is called saber shaped.  they are manufactured and are a popular design.  sometimes in mahogany usually in sweet gum and/or tulip poplar.  because of the distance of the photo i cannot clearly see the wood grain to determine which.

originally these style chairs were stained with a water based dye to resemble mahogany whether or not they were.  Next the finishing with lacquer toned them to a fairly even color by putting stain in the lacquer when they were sprayed--called toning.  Many thousands were sold because of the classic style.  I call them Federal style but most call them duncan phyfe, which has become a common term for the chairs and the style of table they usually accompany.

in stripped condition as shown they would sell at 40$ each in a set of 6.  less for four and more for 8 or ten.  restored to original color with a good smooth finish I would price them in my shop without the seats redone but with the original seat board and frame at 200 each.  this would mean they were tight as well.

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robert klein


Regarding American antique, vintage, and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing. Please read instructions for posting.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of American antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars through several organizations.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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They deserve privacy, sorry.

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