Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Settee



Settee wood
Settee wood  
Hello, I recently bought a settee at a garage sale and the woman selling it knew nothing about it. I can't even say if it's an antique although the "style" appears so. It is in poor condition and I plan I restoring it, but wanted to know a little more about it if possible. For instance, how can I determine if it is an antique? Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

Beth - You have a twentieth century reproduction of a mid 19th century Rococo Revival style medallion back sofa. The Rococo Revival period of the mid 19th century was an attempt to revive the elaborate styles of the French court of Louis XV of the 18th century.  

There was a major revival of the Rococo Revival style in the 1950s centered primarily in the South in Montgomery, AL. Shell, Pelham & Leckie Furniture Company in Montgomery was one of the leading producers. Here are two Rococo Revival style chairs made by the company.

There is no easy way to tell you how to determine the authenticity of almost any piece. Long years of study and experience are a great help.

The best way to get an idea  for sure about this piece is to disassemble it and study the frame. The wood, construction techniques, fasteners and padding all must be consistent with the period. A great clue is the presence or absence of coil springs. The steel coil spring was patented in 1857 and was not widely available in the early years of the Rococo Revival style.

In restored condition your sofa would sell at auction in the $300-$500 range.  

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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