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20th Century Furniture
20th Century Furniture  
Hello, I would like to know if you have any idea what the circa would be on a set of chairs I have?  I would also like to know if there was a particular designer of the chairs as well or how was the manufacturer? There are no markings on the chairs from what I can see.  I have attached a photo. I would appreciate any information you can give.

Thank you in advance!

Hello Ann;

Thank you, for the question.

Based on the single image which you have posted, it is my opinion that you have a set of furniture, which are late "Victorian Dining Room" chairs.

A very good and early example of this type of chair, dating to around 1759, is to be found in Dumfries House in Scotland.

The original design was made by Alexander Peter, and is  referred to as the "Wych Elm" chair.

The  furniture collection at Dumfries House in Scotland is second to none in the whole world, as it has always been kept intact.

Unlike today, things in the past - only developed more slowly; be it travel, science, food, fashions etc.

However time  never stood completely still, and a great  deal of information and communication took place, between Continental Europe and the America's.

Emigrants to the New World, they also brought new skills and ideas, when they moved across the world.

So the different fashions and styles, moved freely back and forth, in the shape of people, broadsheets,magazines and many other different publications.

Thus in essence, you have  an English 18th century design for a set of chair's.

However  your particular chairs,  are of a later date and are based on the American 19th century Federal and Empire period.

As to the maker; there are numerous  American makers of furniture, ranging from Joseph Meeks in New York, or the Detroit Chair Factory.

However, I suspect the smaller family firm of perhaps Alexander Roux, which started in the 1880's - could also possibly be a very likely candidate.

The firm of >Roux< closed  in 1898.

A top class auction house would be able to make a >hands on< examination, thereby giving you much more information.

I suspect that these chairs  do have monetary value and therefore should not be cleaned with any harsh chemicals, as a really good beeswax polish but without any silicone - is more than sufficient.

Cleaning them otherwise, will only devalue them.

They might be made of Oak or Elmwood, but I am unable to say exactly - based on the image.

Find a >GOOD< and reputable action house near to where you live > yellow pages < - and take a chair along to them for further examination.

These quality chairs are not in the category - commonly referred to as >yard sale<  - and should not find their way into any of these  rather rickety auctions, which have  recently spouted up like mushrooms.  

I hope, that this information is of some help to you - and very good luck with the chairs!

Take care.

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D. E. Lombardo


I am unable to answer enquiries concerning objects, which are NOT related to the areas of Fine Art and Antiques. Nor will I; on the sole basis of any photographic images be willing to give any definitive monetary valuations, or monetary opinions. In such cases I would always advise on getting “real time” valuations and opinions from reputable and qualified auction houses, or third parties. In some applicable cases, I may perhaps give general indications of value, based on the presented materials. True valuations always need a direct “hands on” approach, with perhaps also the necessary research and verifications. Broadly open to almost all questions, regarding the majority of both European, American quality objects, which are related to both Antiques and Fine Art. This also includes modern 20th century designer objects such as furniture etc. My own particular comfort zone areas would be; The decorative Arts, marble, stone, furniture, ivory, bone, amber, ceramics and porcelain, sculpture, glass, silver and metal objects etc. I will also answer inquiries, and give opinions concerning Dutch 17th, 18th and 19th century paintings. Please note that I do have limitations and cannot possibly answer all questions, as the field is very extensive. VERY IMPORTANT and PLEASE NOTE: Please note that; providing > GOOD CLEAR and Preferably High Resolution < photo's of the object(s)in question, is vital. Pics taken with a cell/mobile phone, are of a poor quality and best avoided. Posting signatures only, or just fragments of an artifact - will only provide me with insufficient information and it is often quite misleading. So please; Do post good clear overall images, with your question(s). Failing to do so, may cause rejection, which is also a great pity.


Since the early 90’s I lead a team of very enthusiastic staff at a business, where have the following disciplines; Restoration and refurbishment of historical buildings and gardens, including interior design. The restoration and care of Fine Art and Antiques at our restoration studio We are also Fine Art and Antique dealers, besides being collectors ourselves for a great number of years.

The main professional organization of which I am a member is the BNA, or Association of Dutch Architects, which is equivalent to the US; American Institute of Architects. Affiliated to the Art Loss Register in London and the International Cites Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Villa Rufolo; The forgotten paradise on earth. Published by the University of Aarhus, Denmark Book reviews and articles for International Archis Magazine, in the Netherlands.

Since I wished to become a Restoration Architect, firstly I took my BA degree in Art History. Then after graduation, I followed this immediately by studies to graduate and become a Restoration Architect. Ever since then, I have been an established Restoration Architect and Antiquarian. Since a great number of buildings are also inhabited by Fine Art fixtures and furnishings, I also became absorbed by all the artifacts, which go to fill them and not only the edifices themselves. This and much more, was the reason for gaining an advisory post on the City Commission; For The Protection and Care of Historic Monuments of Amsterdam - Amstelveen.

Awards and Honors
Citations and gratitude; “From the Town of Amalfi” for the groundwork achieved in order bring back the Historical past to the Medieval Villa Rufolo and its vital role in the region. BA in Art Hisory. Graduation Diploma as an Architect & Antiquarian; and also practicing as such. I have also completed a 3 year course in antiques, at the VHOK in Amsterdam VHOK is translated as; ( "The Association of Fine Art Dealers In The Netherlands.")

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