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How much is my antique chair worth?

Have you recently inherited or purchased an antique chair and want to know its value? Mearto provides quick and affordable online appraisals of antique chairs. All you have to do is click on the “Start Appraisal” button above and follow the steps to send us information about and images of your antique chair. One of our qualified and experienced specialists will review and get back to you with a fair market and insurance value, typically within 48 hours. Have questions about the valuation provided, or would you like some advice about selling your antique chair? We are here to help! Our platform allows you to chat back and forth with a specialist to ensure that all of your questions are answered.

Click the "Get Started" button below to set up a free account.

Answer a few simple questions and upload images of your item.

Receive a specialist's valuation by email in 24 to 48 hours.

Get help with the next steps, including consignment and sale.

Mearto evaluates hundreds of similar items each month.

What is the history of the chair?

Antique chairs are valued by collectors because of the unique history and development of these items over the years. Before the 1600s, chairs were only available for the master and mistress of the house. For the others, they are only allowed to sit on benches or stools. It was after the end of the Middle Ages when chairs were manufactured. Prior to this, only benches were the available types of seating. But by the 17th century onwards, they were increasingly manufactured although still in limited quantities.
 
During the early years of production though, the chairs feature elaborate carving on the back and arms. The elaborate designs meant that they were only relegated to people of high status. You can learn more about each of these styles that were developed over the years and their corresponding market value.

What are the different types of antique chairs?

The type of antique chair that you have is the single most important factor in determining its value. Below is a glimpse of the most common types of chairs that are sought after by collectors:

  • Wainscot Chairs: This type of antique chair comes with flat wooden seats and molded edge. This could cost up to five figures provided that the desirable features are present, such as marquetry, good patina, and fine cresting.
  • Queen Anne Chairs: If you have the Queen Anne chair, you will notice that it stands out in terms of its style. This chair is characterized by its curving outline and elongated scrolls. There are also some manufactured with bent back to fit the natural curve of the person’s back. You can get top value for this type of antique chair, provided it was manufactured to the highest standard of quality. If you can get a pair, its value will double as compared to selling single pieces of the chair.
  • Chippendale Chairs: Chippendale chairs are named after Thomas Chippendale, who was a famous cabinet maker. He was also an influential figure in the mid-18th century when it comes to chair design. The value of this chair is dependent on a number of factors; however, a good value single chair would average 4-figures.
  • Spindle Back Chairs: The spindle back chair, also known as ladder-back chair, were manufactured in Britain from the 18th to the 19th centuries. Single pieces of the spindle back chair can be valued at three figures but a complete set can reach four figures in value. On the other hand, there could be one-off designer pieces that can be extremely expensive.
  • Stools: The production of stools first came about in the 17th century. Specifically, the ‘back stool’ was a prevalent style during that time. They were also typically made in sets so they are highly sought after by antique collectors.  The three common types of stools are as follows: 1) farthingales, oak dining chairs, and canework chairs.
  • Country Windsor Chairs: This type of antique chair was introduced in the 18th century and was manufactured in temporary workshops. Their use is quite widespread such as in farmhouses, kitchens, halls, and coffee houses. The value of Windsor chairs vary because there is also a wide range of style variations.
  • Victorian Chairs: A Victorian chair is one of the antique chairs that are sought after by collectors. The contemporary styles feature a rounded seat and waisted back. In terms of value, the Victorian chairs vary based on the details such as carvings and type of wood used for its manufacture (mostly mahogany, rosewood, and walnut).
  • Wing Chairs: This type of antique chair was produced to provide a seat for relaxation. When it was manufactured in the 18th century, it was not intended for formal use. Most wing chairs manufactured in the 18th century can generate a value of up to four figures when appraised today.

Who are some famous chair manufacturers and designers?

Now that you know the styles of antique chairs that are in the market, it is important to get familiar with the famous antique chairs and designers. These types of chairs tend to be of higher value. Therefore, if you have them, you can sell yours for a hefty price tag (provided that it is properly authenticated). Here are some of the famous antique furniture makers:

  • Killarney Ware – This is an Irish furniture maker specializing in the production of antique chairs. This distinctive style originated in Ireland’s Killarney region in the mid-19th century. These chairs are typically made with a whitish close-grained wood that yellows as it ages.
  • Samuel Bennett – This furniture maker is based in London and has been known to manufacture antique chairs since the 18th century.
  • William Kent – This is another English furniture manufacturer who created antique chair designs that are heavy in carving. His antique chairs are notable for bearing much carving.
  • Thomas Chippendale – This antique chair manufacturer is so recognized that he has a style named after him. Aside from antique chairs, he also manufactured antique cabinets.

How are antique chairs identified and valued?

Before you can determine what your antique chair is worth, you must first learn how to identify it. The identification of antique chair is crucial in evaluating its value. These are some of the information you need for identification:

  • Is there any identifying mark that would indicate the manufacturer?
  • What type of joinery was used for making the antique chair? Please note that different types of joinery were manufactured in varying time periods; hence, it could be an important type of identification.
  • Are there any saw marks?
  • What is the period style?

To determine value, appraisers consider the following:

  • Condition: Is it usable? Are the parts complete or damaged?
  • Manufacturer: Are you able to identify which company manufactured the antique chair?
  • Provenance: Does the antique chair have any historical significance?
  • Current market conditions: Is this type of chair still being used today? What is the overall market value of this style of chair?
  • Desirability: Does the antique chair possess any feature/s that would make it rare?

Would You Like to Sell Your antique chair?

Mearto offers two opportunities to sell your antique chair based on its current fair market value:

Customers with antique chair expected to sell for $5,000 or more can take advantage of our complimentary Consignment Concierge service. We will contact leading auction houses on your behalf, collect offers and help you negotiate the terms of a consignment agreement. There is no additional fee or commission for this service.

For customers with antique chair valued between $50 and $5,000, Mearto offers an exclusive Marketplace, which is accessed by a number of art, antiques and collectibles dealers around the world. If there is interest in your item, you will be contacted directly with offers through our platform. In the event of a successful sale, Mearto takes a 7% transaction fee.

To learn more about options for selling your antique chair through Mearto, please click here.

Lindsey

Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.

Not just chairs...

Mearto evaluates many different items.