Is this chair something special?

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Blog entry by Don "Dances with Wood" Butler posted 912 days ago 4269 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got this chair from a client who said it’s been in his attic for as long as he can remember. A couple of weeks ago I posted a question about what wood species it might be. The majority thought it might be mahogany.

So, now I wonder about the chair’s origin and worth.
It has some indications of being handmade. There is no makers mark, no numbers or old tags. I believe it was heavily upholstered in a style we used to call overstuffed.
I’m pretty sure the seat was originally equipped with springs.

I’ll have to partially disassemble the chair to deal with loose joinery. But nothing is broken.
The client wants it refinished and to have the upholstery restored.
I think it will be a spectacular item if we get all that done, but first I want to identify it and authenticate it.

I’d be grateful if any of you are familiar with the kind of chair. A rocker with the animal paws on the front legs is a new thing to me.


-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

9 comments so far

View MichaelAgate's profile


398 posts in 921 days

#1 posted 912 days ago

Just did a google search, Antique Rocking Chair, Antique Overstuffed Rocking Chair… Nothing unfortunately that looks like what you have above. Good luck.

-- Michael and Matthew

View cabmaker's profile


1282 posts in 1407 days

#2 posted 912 days ago

Appears to me to be of british orgin with a gothic style. But to answer your question, Im finding that anything that allows one to sit down is something special. Looks like a worthy restoration job to me. JB

View Roger's profile


14114 posts in 1402 days

#3 posted 912 days ago

that has a lotta girth… I’ll bet that thing weighs a ton… a real relic i’m sure

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View David White's profile

David White

112 posts in 1879 days

#4 posted 912 days ago

I’d guess its late Victorian – 1890 – 1900 ish.

I’d have it checked out by an expert before you restore it though.


View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2175 days

#5 posted 912 days ago

Hi Don
I’ve found this web site helpful in the past.

-- Custom furniture

#6 posted 905 days ago

I received an answer from an antiques dealer.

Antique Furniture/Answered Question
Expert: robert klein
Subject: Can you ID this chair?

Old paw foot rocker
An unusual rocker with “paw” feet on the front legs. I think it is in mahogany. No Maker’s marks or numbers, tags, etc.
The two front feet are different in size, saying to me, handmade.
Don Butler
Waterford, PA 16441

empire style, not period but style made in the 1910-20s. it is a manufactured piece and was part of a set at one time. These were made from birch, sweet gum, and/or tulip poplar and stained with a water based dye to a dark mahogany color.

even in the day, one person would have operated machinery that turned out 100 legs in a day or more. many times parts made by machine would then be dressed or refined by hand. i like machine assisted hand work as a descriptive phrase.

most are well built, strong, and not dainty.

Robert Klein
Roberts Antiques and Restoration
2500 North T Street
Pensacola, Fl 32505

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

#7 posted 452 days ago

Just this morning I realized I had fail to provide an “after” photo in this thread.


-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2175 days

#8 posted 452 days ago

This turned great Don

-- Custom furniture

View JoeinGa's profile


3091 posts in 605 days

#9 posted 452 days ago

Wow, what a transformation. Beautiful chair

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