Collectibles-General (Antiques)/LADDER BACK CHAIR

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pair of ladder back chairs
pair of ladder back ch  

1 ladder back chair
1 ladder back chair  
HELLO FRED,

RECENTLY WENT TO AN ESTATE SALE & FOUND THESE CHAIRS "TOSSED" ON PILES AND PILES OF ITEMS IN IT'S GARAGE. MY HUSBAND IS INTERESTED IN FIXING THEM UP BUT WE WOULD LIKE SOME INFORMATION, SUCH AS, IT'S STYLE & AGE, BEFORE PUTTING IN THE WORK.  I PERSONALLY DON'T THINK IT WOULD BE WORTH THE HASTLE BUT HE LIKES THEM. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP?? THANKS SO MUCH!!

Answer
Angie - The chairs are from the "Golden Oak" period of American furniture, 1880-1920. That is also considered to be the style. These were factory made just after the turn of the 20th century. The chairs are said to be a “press back” chairs. The design in the back was not carved. It was made by the impression of a sharp steel die under great pressure that was rolled across the surface of the wood. The design was literally pressed into the wood.

Restoration will be a major project. They need to be stripped, repaired, recaned or reupholstered and refinished. If the chairs are loose and wobbly the repair will be the difficult part. They need to be knocked a part completely and rebuilt joint by joint, no shortcuts.

When done they will be very handsome chairs and will be worth about $25 -$50 each at auction. It's a lot of work for a $50 chair but if you like the chairs you will have some vintage pieces of American history.

Sears sold similar chairs in the 1902 catalog for $.99.

Good luck and thanks for writing.

Fred Taylor
www.furnituredetective.com
info@furnituredetective.com  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Fred Taylor

Expertise

I will attempt to answer questions about American antique furniture, including construction details, style, period, manufacturers, care, repair and storage. I do not have any background in appliances, musical instruments, sewing machines, trunks, lighting, clocks or children's and baby furniture and will not respond to questions about those items.

Experience

I ran an antique furniture restoration business for twenty years. I am a nationally syndicated columnist on the subject of antique furniture for such publications as Antique Week and New England Antiques Journal. I have produced one video on the subject of furniture identification and my book "HOW TO BE A FURNITURE DETECTIVE" is now available.I have also published articles in Antique Trader, Chicago Art Deco Society, Northeast Magazine, Victorian Decorating and Lifestyles, Professional Refinishing, Antiques and Art Around Florida and Antique Shoppe. You can visit my website at www.furnituredetective.com

Education/Credentials
BSBA Finance, University of Florida, MBA Finance, University of Florida

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