Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Antique settee/chair set
Hello! I have recently acquired an antique settee with a matching chair. The chair is in immaculate condition for what I assume is a very old piece, the settee as well with the exception of the seat. I am considering reupholstering but would like to know exactly what it is that I have, as I have heard several labels (queen anne, rococo, Louis XIV etc.) I also was told that it is a mid 19th century set so I m looking for confirmation on that as well.
Would reupholstering devalue the piece? Is it worth the cost of reupholstering?
Elizabeth - You have two pieces of a five piece parlor set, the sofa and the lady's chair. The other pieces would have been the man's chair, taller than the lady's chair, and two side chairs for children. The style is Rococo Revival. This style introduced in the 1840s and was an attempt to recreate the lavishness of the French court of the 18th century.
While the Victorian era spanned most of the 19th century and contained a number of "revival" styles such as Elizabethan Revival, Gothic Revival, Rococo Revival, Renaissance Revival and Empire Revival, Rococo Revival was the longest lasting style (1845-1900) and was considered THE Victorian style.
I believe your set is a late 19th century to mid 20th century reproduction and is not from the mid 19th century. Most mid century sets were made of walnut or rosewood. Yours appears to be a close grain hardwood like birch or maple more commonly found around the turn of the 20th century. Another clue is the shape of the arms on the chair. Period men's chairs had full length arms while the lady's chairs had no arms at all but flared sides called "hip rests" that accomodated the large hoop skirts of the period. This Meeks parlor set from the period shows the difference between the two chairs.
Unfortunately whether the set is from the mid 19th century or the late century, this style currently has little demand in the market. Here is a complete seven piece parlor set with a medallion back sofa like yours, circa 1950, that sold for $450 for the set.
Here is a period sofa and chair similar to yours that sold for $200.
Each of your pieces, in good condition, would sell at auction in the $100-$150 range.
Thanks for writing.