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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Civil war folding chair


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My fiancés family had this folding chair. They say it is a civil war camping chair. Is there a way to tell the era of the chair, any information on it, or its worth? Thanks!

Jon - Unfortunately that chair is far younger than the Civil War era. The seat and back are made of plywood. Plywood came into general use in furniture production around the turn of the 20th century. Multilayer wood products, while used in the Civil War era in the form of laminated rosewood furniture made by the likes of J.H. Belter and J & J.W. Meeks, were not available in large quantities and were not used for camping chairs.

Here is what folding camp chairs of the Civil War era looked like.

This chair is part of the great folding chair era of the 1880s-1900. They were used for funerals, revival meetings, town meetings and any place where temporary seating was needed. There is a nice section on folding chairs of the period in the book "Furniture Made in America - 1875-1903" by Dubrow, published by Schiffer. The book can be found here.

Here is a set of wooden folding chairs similar to this chair that sold at auction in 2013 for $175 for the set of twelve, about $15 each.

Thanks for writing.

Fred Taylor  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Fred Taylor


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

BSBA Finance, University of Florida, MBA Finance, University of Florida

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