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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Grand Rapids S.F. Company chair back


front view opera chair
front view opera chair  

Mr. Klein,  I got your contact information from Diana Barrett of the Grand Rapids Historical Commission.  I purchased this chair back in Oklahoma City, Ok.  I was able to find some information about the Grand Rapids School Furniture Co. and am hopeful you can identify the origin of this piece.  I was curious what the CR stands for and am more interested in the history than the value. There is a patent date of Apr. 13, 86 on the back of the chair. Thank you for your time.  Arlene Fuller

Grand Rapids School Furnitre Co
Grand Rapids School Fu  
What a wonderful find!!!

Not CR but GR for Grand Rapids.

I do not quite understand the question as to 'origin of the piece', it was made in Grand Rapids.  When we see a patent date we can assume that the item on which the date is printed or cast is the very earliest it can be.  When we see multiple patent dates, which is not present here, then the latest patent date is the earliest the object could have been manufactured. A safe guess it that an item with the patent date is probably made within a few years of that date but keep in mind that the best and most accurate way is to find the exact item date, a difficult chore but fun, it to locate the identical item in a catalog of that company.  Many catalogs are digitized these days although difficult to ferret out.  One day I intend to spend a week in Grand Rapids reading as much as possible an seeing as much as possible while there.  A H Andrews in Chicago and Minneapolis School Furniture also did elegant items like this one.also one of the many companies that produced

As you can see, the back of your chair piece contained an upholstered pad at one time.  Although these were advertised originally as opera seating, auditorium seating there is really no way to know the original location to which this was shipped or whether it was in an opera house, a school auditorium, or other institutional hall.

I have located a picture of the chair, it took awhile but thought you might like to see it.  

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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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