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one arm chair
one arm chair  
one arm chair
one arm chair  
QUESTION: This chair was given to my mother in the late 1950's by an elderly German neighbor in St. Louis, Missouri. There is a stamp on the bottom of the seat (see photo). My questions:
---Can you tell me anything about the approximate age and history of such an unusual design?  Why one arm?
---Can you tell me the approximate value?
I have additional photos (close up of details, etc.) if they would be of help to you.  Thank you so much for your help!

ANSWER: I believe this to be USA made around 1890, the golden oak period where grand Rapids was the dominant area of manufacturer.  Understand also that there were abut 5000 factories turning out furniture in the country.

I puzzled trying to decipher the stamp till i turned the photo over and saw that it was a number.  what it means is most likely the model number.

the back has an art nouveau styling.  the single arm is a hold over from past times when single arm chairs were used by officers wearing swords.

i have found no recent auctions having sold a chair like this but in my experience I would place an insurance value of 800-900 and a retail price of 450-500.

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

QUESTION: Thanks, Mr. Klein!  That is so helpful.  
I have never done anything like this before and don't know how to find a reputable person to auction this chair for me.  Any tips on how to find someone in the St. Louis area?

Answer
auction is a gamble unless you personally know and trust the auctioneer.  doesnt matter if you set a reserve, if it sells less than your reserve you are still stuck with whatever it brought.

if you are going to sell first take pictures to some dealers and just ask what they will pay.  figure they will double the price to sell.  dont give any idea that you know anything about it.  they will know what the market is in your area.

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robert klein

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

Education/Credentials
BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

Past/Present Clients
They deserve privacy, sorry.

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