Antique chairs bring with them, through time, stories of our past. Earlier generations, in their wisdom, cared for and preserved the history these chairs represent, the history they themselves were part of. Now we too can enjoy and appreciate the proud traditions and skilled craftmanship that went into building these chairs. We can remember and imagine the tale of life they weave that brings warmth to our heart and sometimes a tear to our eye... of special occasions - births, graduations, weddings, and partings.
Antique chairs are the products of master builders who loved their craft. The pride and attention to detail that went into building these treasures is evident. Ironically, it's due to these long-forgotten ideals that we may enjoy and appreciate these remnants of a simpler, innocent time.
Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are
Antique chairs can be found almost anywhere. Your Grandmother probably still has her old kitchen set, stored in the attic, inappropriate for the current style of her modernized kitchen. Another place to look may be yard sales. People are often trying to clean out old stuff, many times antique chairs, in order to make way for the new stuff they eventually replace it with.
Still another place and probably the easiest is an ad in the local newspaper. Again, people sometimes just need the space and want to clear the clutter. Lots of times, real bargains are there for the taking because these folks either don't know the value of the items they're parting with or can't be bothered with the effort required to restore it or just don't have the time.
Sold - To The Man In The BMW!
On the higher end, you can usually find quality pieces on auction in places like Sotheby's and Christie's Auction Houses. They're famous for their 5, 6 and even 7 figure auctions selling off the wares of their upscale clients. The owners of these items usually do know the value of their antiques. Personally, I'll stick to the yard sales and Grandmas attic!
Because of today's technology, chiefly the internet and specialty cable tv shows, information about antique chairs and antiques is abundant and available to practically anyone who cares to know. The information is just a point and click away! Pictures, history, appraisals...anything you might need to educate yourself about a particular piece.
Antiquing Your Home
No one can deny, for charm and character, antique chairs are the hand-down choice for a room or an entire house. Exceptionally well suited for single piece additions are chairs from the Victorian Era. Well noted for its typically massive and elaborately designed furniture, its durability is evident in its size, construction and weight. Although fabric and woven fiber chairs are classic, wood is the preferred material. Wood is a much more forgiving and durable material than say paper wicker - a man-made fibrous material, rolled or twisted to look and behave like rope.
For the dining room, mission chairs bring charm and style. They can be used at the dining table or placed off to the side and will take their place proudly with their backs held high. With a little care,these chairs will last generations and need only to be cleaned and occasionally polished.
Is It Or Isn't It
Just visiting yard sales or answering ads in the local paper isn't a guarantee that the antique that's for sale is quite what you're looking for or is actually even antique. Even though duplication is impossible very close replicas are more abundant than the antiques they masquerade as. There are certain tell-tale signs for the would-be buyer to watch for.
- If a seller has all the chairs of a matching set, this should cause you to raise at least one eyebrow. I won't say it never happens but to find a complete matching set of a truly valuable antique is a rare event.
- Multiple items - like above but the seller doesn't claim them to be a matching set.
- If the word antique or Victorian is overused in an ad...raise the other eyebrow. The seller may be trying to convince you (or himself) that he has authentic antique chairs.
Armed with this information and your own research, you should have little trouble in your search for authentic and valuable antiques.