Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Antique Parlor Set


Parlor Set (4 piece)
Parlor Set (4 piece)  
QUESTION: I have a 4 piece parlor set that I bought at an auction.  I know very little about the set.  The set is in excellent condition, it has been refinished and the material is black leather. I was wondering if you have any idea what era the furniture was made and what the set would be worth if I wanted to sell it.  The set includes one settee, one chair, and two rockers.  I was also wondering if you happen to know if a four piece set like this is a bit unusual compared to a three piece set.  I have looked on the internet, but I have been unable to find a set identical to this one, and a lot of the sets that are similar only include three pieces of furniture (only one rocker and not two).  Any information that you could give me would be very helpful.  Thank you so much!

ANSWER: These sets were manufactured around 1900 + or - a decade.  wood is usually birch stained to a mahogany deep cordovan color or to a walnut color.

The style is an interpretation of American empire style.  Some refer to this as second or third period empire but that can be misleading.  Empire revival would be more accurate.

Nice set and in supurb condition.

Things sell differently in different parts of the country.
What did you have to give at the auction and where was it purchased?

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Parlor Set - Original Picture
Parlor Set - Original  
QUESTION: Thank you so much for that information, it is very much appreciated!  My husband and I purchased the set at an auction in rural Minnesota.  The auction was actually at a butcher shop in a small town.  The owner of the butcher shop had died and they were selling all of his stuff.  He was a butcher by day, but his hobby was refinishing and restoring antique furniture in his spare time.  There were several nice pieces of furniture at the auction, and this set was one of them.  My husband and I thought the set was very unusual and in excellent condition, we had never seen anything quite like it.  The wife of the butcher told us at the auction that her husband had gotten the set in pieces (I will attach a picture of the picture she gave us of the pieces), and he assembled the furniture and refinished it, and had it upholstered in black leather.  The wife told us that her husband had worked on refinishing this set for a long time, and once it was done everyone had to be very careful around it and no children were allowed to sit on it, so the set has been very well cared for.  My husband and I bought the set about a year ago.  We are looking to sell the set, but we are not really sure how to go about that.  We are hoping to find someone who will buy the furniture and appreciate it for what it is, it is beautiful!  We paid $1,860.00 for the set ($465.00 per piece).  At the auction, we had the option of buying one piece with our winning bid of $465.00, or the whole set for that much a piece, so we decided to buy the whole set so it would remain a set.  That is about all I know about the set, I hope this information is helpful.

It is a wonderful set, of that there is no doubt.  What part of MN?  Close to the cities maybe would be a better area in which to sell or it you are up in the northern part around Duluth that might be a good location.

10 years ago the pricing from the cities up to Bemidji and over to Duluth all seemed about the same as in my area.

more people more potential customers.  I would ask 2500-3000 but parlor sets are not easy to sell for me.

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robert klein


In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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