Collectibles-General (Antiques)/antique chairs

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Chair Carvings
Chair Carvings  

One of the Matching Chairs
One of the Matching Ch  
Hello,

I found 2 matching chairs on the side of the road.  Someone was throwing them away.  I know absolutely nothing about them, but it was obvious by looking at them that they are very old.  So I couldn't resist.  I had to pick them up.  It looks like they have the original fabric too.  On the bottom of one of them is a tag that says "Associated Factories  666 Lake Shore Dr. Chicago IL".  Then it has some numbers that say 1920/8.   It is also signed, although the signature is difficult to read.

I thought maybe that 1920/8 meant that the chair was built in 1920, but then I researched the building at 666 Lake Shore Dr, which is now a historically famous building and use to house the "Furniture Mart".  I found out the building at 666 Lake Shore Dr was not built until 1923 (part of it), and the other part built in 1926.  When it was built, it was the tallest building in the world.  But if the bldg wasn't constructed until 1923, then how could the chair have been built in 1920?  Maybe that is not what the 1920/8  means at all.  I don't know, so this is my question.  Also, I cannot find any information on "Associated Factories"  in association with that address.   

I am trying to determine the approximate age and value of the chairs.  I appreciate any insight or help that you can share with me.  I will attach a few pictures too.  If you need to know any more information, such as the rest of the numbers on the tag, or my attempted interpretation of the signature, just let me know.

Thank you again,

Amy

Answer
Amy - Your research is admirable so far. Your chairs are reproductions of two famous styles in American history. The frame is from the Federal period of the early 1800's. It is patterned after the Greek klismos chair. Greek patterns were popular in the period because Greece was the birthplace of democracy and the newly formed United States had just won its freedom from England.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klismos

The floral carving on the crest rail is from the Rococo Revival period of the mid 19th century which tried to reproduce the opulence of the 18th century French court.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rococo_Revival

The chairs were made in the late 1940s. They appear to be made of mahogany but actually are made of a secondary wood, red gum normally called "selected hardwood" in the trade, that has been stained to look like the more expensive mahogany.

These chairs are very common. They were mass produced after World War II to accompany dining sets for the growing families of returned soldiers. They are very under priced for solid wood chairs that normally will serve for many more years. A complete table and chair set from this design and period are shown on page 64 of "Furniture of the Depression Era" by Swedberg. The book can be found on Amazon.com.
http://www.amazon.com/Furniture-Depression-Era-Accessories-1920S/dp/0891453326/r

Here is a set of seven that sold at auction in April 2013 for $100 in Virginia.
http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/17067024_set-of-seven-mahogany-dining-chairs

They normally sell in the $15-$25 range.

Thanks for writing.

Fred Taylor

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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