Is this chair something special?

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Blog entry by Don "Dances with Wood" Butler posted 01-24-2012 09:34 PM 5310 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 wood.

9 comments so far

View MichaelAgate's profile


398 posts in 1323 days

#1 posted 01-24-2012 10:18 PM

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


1374 posts in 1809 days

#2 posted 01-24-2012 11:32 PM

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


17471 posts in 1804 days

#3 posted 01-25-2012 02:35 AM

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

120 posts in 2281 days

#4 posted 01-25-2012 05:56 AM

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


113624 posts in 2577 days

#5 posted 01-25-2012 08:35 AM

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

-- Custom furniture

View Don "Dances with Wood" Butler's profile

Don "Dances with Wood" Butler

1051 posts in 2395 days

#6 posted 01-31-2012 10:28 PM

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 wood.

View Don "Dances with Wood" Butler's profile

Don "Dances with Wood" Butler

1051 posts in 2395 days

#7 posted 04-29-2013 01:36 PM

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


-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

View a1Jim's profile


113624 posts in 2577 days

#8 posted 04-29-2013 01:43 PM

This turned great Don

-- Custom furniture

View JoeinGa's profile


5217 posts in 1007 days

#9 posted 04-29-2013 01:47 PM

Wow, what a transformation. Beautiful chair

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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