Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Binghamton Chair

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Binghamton Chair
Binghamton Chair  

Binghamton Shop Mark
Binghamton Shop Mark  
Hello:

I came across this chair at a thrift store.  What is left of the stamp under the seat appears to be a Binghamton Chair Company shopmark.  I researched it online once home and can find little information.  What is my chair worth?  Would it devalue it to strip and refinish it, or is it more valuable with all its scratches and well-worn marks.  I have cleaned it, but will consider refinishing if it will retain its value.  Also, should I take care to protect the shopmark from further decaying.  I should note the mark has what appears to be a penciled number on it, possibly 1869. I can only load 2 pictures, but have more if you need them to see closer views of the seat etc.  Thank you so much for your time and sharing your expertise.

Answer
Raylene - Here is some history on Binghamton Chair Co in case you haven't found it.
http://en.wikicollecting.org/binghamton-chair-company

However, I disagree with a portion of the history. It says the company merged with Stickley-Brandt in the 1920s. According to the official Stickley website Stickley-Brandt closed in 1918. Other sources say they closed in 1919.
http://www.stickleymuseum.com/ExploreStickleyHistory.cfm?SubPg=TheStickleyCompan

Your chair was made in the early 20th century. It is a Windsor chair. A Windsor chair is a chair in which no vertical element runs continuously from top to bottom. All vertical elements terminate in the seat. I can't tell what wood the chair is made of but it is probably birch, the most common wood of the era after oak. It originally probably had a mahogany finish. I can see some of red.

Since your chair is a factory made 20th century chair it has no antique value. The rule of thumb in most 20th century furniture is that well done repair, refinish and restoration will improve both the appearance and current market value. By all means try to preserve the label. A mostly complete label can be seen on this site.
http://www.stickleyera.info/AmericanMakersA-D.htm

Good luck with your chair. 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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