I bought this antique rocking chair today. The only markings on it is part of a sticker on the bottom of the seat, I can only make out Sn. The seat is all one piece with the wood grain running front to back and is 1 3/4 inch thick. The man I bought it from said it was about 125 years old. Have you seen a rocker like this before? Any history about this chair would be greatly appreciated.
Answer Pat - Your chair is a factory made "press back" rocker, circa 1890-1910. 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.
The chair is made of birch with a mahogany finish. That is called “simulated mahogany” and was correctly explained in the 1902 Sears catalog as being both stronger and less expensive than genuine mahogany.
Chairs like this were part of the great mail order trade of the period for Sears and Montgomery Ward. Similar chairs are shown in both catalogs. In today's market your chair would sell at auction in the $75-$100 range in good condition.
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.
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