Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Office Chair


Chair - Front
Chair - Front  

Chair - seat & hardware
Chair - seat & hardwar  
Good afternoon ...

I have my great grandfather's "office chair" and am trying to get a better idea of who made it. It's an 1880's factory produced "Charles Eastlake" influenced, walnut office chair with a cane back and seat. What is most interesting about the chair is the "rocker" mechanism. I can't seem to locate anything like it. It seems to be designed to promote posture (sit upright and leaning slightly forward and it locks in upright ... lean back a little and it unlocks and rocks backward to rest ... wood rail against a metal arm). Can you provide further detail? Thank you for your effort here ... the chair has been passed down through (now) four generations (along with his 1880's roll top desk) and is an important family heirloom.

Bill Arnold

sorry you feel that my knowledge is lacking, sometimes there are just no answers to the questions, as I explained.

you have called the chair correctly, it is more victorian than eastlake victorian.  remember that not all incised carving is from eastlakes influence.

it is made around 1870-75, prior to "Hints on Household Tastes" in America if I remember correctly and should be in walnut.

i have seen the mechanism several times in the past and am thinking there might be a casting with the name of the mechanism maker.

there were 5000 manufacturers in operation at this time so without a label there is no way anyone can tell you the company unless we happen to find this chair in an old catalog.
the only way is to search out the many online catalogs from old companies or in the Grand Rapids record hoping to find a match.  To be sure, there would have been more than one company that made such a chair.

all said, it is a stylish, top of the line desk chair made by a good company that would retail around 750 in my shop and I do not have a fancy shop.

having the seat re-caned is costly but is worth doing as long as grandchildren do not use the chair.

looks like an equally nice cylinder roll desk/secretary next to the chair....  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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robert klein


In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

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

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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