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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Chairs with Tiger Eye backs


Tiger eye are chairs
Tiger eye are chairs  

Morris Mission Chair
Morris Mission Chair  
Purchased these chairs at yard sale and took all the old stain off and recovered them but can't determine their age.  Can you help?  Also, I think I have a Morris Mission Chair too can you confirm?

M Embry - Your two chairs are part of an Empire Revival parlor set from around the turn of the 20th century, 1890-1910. The wood in the back is not tiger eye cherry. It is ribbon striped mahogany veneer. The frames of the chairs are made of birch with a mahogany finish.

The oak chair is a Morris chair but it is not a Mission style chair. In the mid 19th century a long standing problem with chairs was solved by an English designer. In 1866 William Morris adapted a design by a rural chair maker named Ephraim Colman  that changed a rigid back parlor chair to an adjustable reclining chair. He did this amazing feat by using hinges at the base of the back and added a notched support in the rear that held a solid rod. The rod supported the weight of the back and it could be moved to different notches to adjust the position of the back. Thus was born the manual recliner – the famous “Morris chair - even though Morris didn’t actually design it. It could easily have been called the “Colman” chair.

Mission style is very straight and severe with no curves and no surface adornment. Your chair is part of the Golden Oak period of American furniture from about 1880 to 1920. The surface "carvings" are machine made moldings glued and nailed to the surface.

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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