Monday, January 11, 2010
A Case of Mistaken Identity
QUESTION: I saw a Queen Anne dining set in a shop, and it appears to be old, however the chairs are upholstered in a ‘vinyl’ material which also appears old, but is this an antique?
ANSWER: I get questions like this a lot. Most of the time, the persons asking them think that because a piece of furniture is in a particular style that it’s an antique. But they fail to realize that certain popular styles of furniture have been reproduced over and over throughout the last several centuries.
From the photo, I could tell that the dining table and chairs had been made in the Queen Anne style, but I could also tell right away that it wasn’t an antique. The giveaway was the extra leaves in the table. From the looks of it, I'd say the set might be as old as the 1930s, but I'm leaning more to the 1960s. Let’s see why.
At the end of the 19th century, a style called Colonial Revival came into popularity because of the colonial exhibits at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. Furniture makers began to make what they thought looked like colonial furniture although it was often stylized and lacked the fine details of the original.
That said, this table and chairs did seem to be well constructed of solid woods and, therefore might sell for somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000. But don’t mistake the identity of this dining set for the real thing. It isn’t.