Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Wooden Chair


I am looking to find out the age and value of a wooden chair.  It has a Murphy Incorporated, Owensboro Kentucky metal plate in the back as well as a 7019 gold plate nailed in the back.

Daniela - In 1877 Canadian chair maker Michael J. Murphy moved his business into the Detroit factory building recently vacated by the Detroit Chair Factory that had been established in 1864. The company had a major expansion in 1885 and employed over 800 workers in a four story factory. It was incorporated as Murphy Chair Co in 1899.

When furniture production began to move south after the turn of the century Murphy picked Owensboro, KY as the prime place to have a new factory. In 1917 he acquired a wagon factory building in Owensboro and operated it as a branch of the Detroit company until 1921. In 1921 the Detroit company was closed and the Owensboro plant was reincorporated as the new Murphy Chair Co. By 1935 the company had built more than 10,000,000 chairs in its factories. Murphy Chair Co, always family owned and operated, closed in 1954.

Your chair is a low back Windsor chair made during the Depression era of the 1930s. A Windsor chair is a chair in which no vertical element runs continuously from top to bottom. All vertical elements terminate in the seat.

It is an institutional chair probably used as an office or waiting room chair. the "7019" is an inventory label applied by an owner, not Murphy Chair Co.

The chair has a serious finish problem and in its current condition would sell at auction for less than $25.

Thanks for writing and thanks for the photos.

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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