Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Lincoln Rocker

Advertisement


Question
Broken Arm
Broken Arm  

Headrest
Headrest  
Hello there,
I have also sent you an email with pictures attached.  
I have a Lincoln Rocker I would like some advice about.  I think it is about 100 years old and factory-made.  I would like to know several things:
- The headrest seems to be covered in hide glue (?) and I was wondering what might have been glued to it
- Is the arm worth fixing?
- Should it be stripped and refinished or is that a horrible thing to do to the chair?
I can attach more pictures to help you if needed.
Thank you!
Nyssa

Answer
Nyssa – Based on the screw you demonstrate in the additional photos the chair is quite a bit older than 100 years. That is a machine made flat tip screw made between 1830 and 1850. If it is original to the chair it predates the Civil War. I believe what you are seeing on the headrest (crest rail) is actually oxidized shellac, the original finish that has been degraded by contact with oily human hair.  

The chair is absolutely worth restoring and repairing the arm properly. All of the damaged wood and applied putty needs to be cut out, a new piece of wood glued in and shaped and finished to match the rest of the chair. This needs to be done after the chair is stripped but before it is finished.

If you need more information about the process please correspond with me directly at info@furnituredetective.com

Thanks for the additional photos.
Fred Taylor  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.