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A Guide to Identifying Antique Chairs

Antique chairs are just one of the many kinds of antique furniture worth collecting.

If you’re an estate sale shopper with a love of antique chairs, it’s important to know how to identify an authentic piece before buying it.

Having an understanding of the different elements and styles that make a chair an antique will go a long way as you search for that unique piece you’re looking for.

Read on for a helpful style guide that will help you identify antique chairs and make you feel confident about your purchase at the next estate sale you attend!

1. Look for Manufacturing Information

One of the first ways to begin identifying a chair is to look for the manufacturer’s information on the object.

Check under the seat for a tag, stamp, model number, signature, or any other type of written information that would give you an idea of who made the chair and how old it is.

An antique chair would be something that is more than a hundred years old.  If it’s less than this, it’s most likely vintage or could be a reproduction.

2. Check to See How the Antique Chairs are Made

In addition to looking for the chair’s manufacturer information, you can work to identify if it’s an antique by looking at other physical signs, noting how the chair was made.

For example, if you see screws that are commonly used today on the chair it’s most likely contemporary.

If you see slotted screws, however, this could indicate that the chair is older. The same goes for chair rails on the bottom of a seat.

Some modern chairs are made without screws, but you can tell they’re not antique if they look new and by the manufacturing information mentioned under the seat. 

Another feature to look at if you’re considering buying an upholstered chair is what kind of seat filling is used. Are there coiled springs? Is it filled with natural padding such as feathers? 

What’s under the fabric is just as helpful in identifying an antique chair as looking at its exterior.

There are a lot of helpful charts out there to help you get a better understanding of the elements and details that make a chair an antique, so remember to do your research before the estate sale!

3. Assess the Fabric

Another helpful physical aspect of the chair that can help you figure out if it is an antique or not is the fabric.

If it is hand-stitched, an unfamiliar fabric or pattern, an old trend, and has clear signs of it being worn with age, there’s a good chance it’s an antique.

Be careful of reproductions or chairs that have been reupholstered though. If the pattern seems old or out of style, but the fabric looks and feels fresh and new, it could likely just be a replica.

Antiques are antiques for a reason–they’ve been used and it shows!

Find the Piece You’ve Been Looking For

There are many different styles of antique chairs, and taking the time to learn how to identify them and understand their features can help make your estate sale shopping easier.

You’ll feel more confident looking at the chairs for sale, and be able to spot that perfect piece you’ve been looking for!

What other elements do you look at when you’re shopping for an antique chair? Have questions about the process?

Prestige Estate Services Fort Myers
239-449-0409