Antique rocking chairs can be found in many different styles. Some of these include New England, German, Windsor, and Rattan styles. These styles all have unique characteristics and can serve as a wonderful addition to your home.
Windsor rocking chair
Windsor rocking chairs were first crafted in the 18th century. They are named after the town of Windsor, England. These chairs are still made today. There are several styles.
The most popular is the hoop-back or bow-back style. This design is usually a curved armchair with a semi-circular back. A crest or comb-style headrest is sometimes found on these chairs.
Another design is the arrow-back or splat-back style. This style is more often seen in portraits of important colonial figures.
Another, and lesser known, is the slender “continuous arm” style. It is made of a single bent piece of wood. This was developed by Colonial craftsmen to provide an elegant, yet light, appearance.
One of the earliest American Windsor chairs was produced in 1763. Cabinetmaker Francis Trumble created more than 100 chairs for the Philadelphia State House that year.
Several American manufacturers made Windsor chairs through the 1770s, including Thomas Ash and Andrew Gautier. Most were painted.
Early Windsors were commonly painted green to help them blend in with the natural environment. In the 18th century, a distinction was made between painted and stained versions.
New England rocking chair
An antique rocking chair is an important part of the American furniture tradition. These chairs are often made from wood and are a part of the history of our nation.
While it is not always easy to identify an antique rocking chair, you can get a good idea of what to look for by checking out the materials and construction of the chair. The seat is generally made of wood, and the frame is usually solid.
Another feature of an antique rocking chair is the curved back and armrests. Some chairs also have a lumbar pillow. Often, the frame will be finished with a coat of varnish or shellac. This finish is designed to give the furniture a polished appearance.
The classic Boston rocker is a popular style. It is a traditional chair that was widely manufactured in the nineteenth century. Made of pine or oak, the chairs were decorated with stenciled fruit and flower patterns.
The best way to find an authentic rocker is to go to a local auction house. You can find expert appraisers there. They will be able to tell you if the piece is made from wood or composites, as well as how old it is.
German rocking chair
If you are planning to buy an antique rocking chair, you need to carefully identify the type of rocking chair that you want. The best way to do that is to visit an expert who can appraise the rocking chair.
Before the late 1700s, most rocking chairs were made by hand. The chairs had curvilinear frames with high-relief carvings. They were usually light-medium in weight.
The most common wood used for rocking chairs was oak. Other types of wood were also used, including maple, birch, cherry, and walnut. Each of these woods had its own characteristic style.
Upholstered rockers were popular in the Victorian period. Materials included leather, wool moreen, and silk damask. Sometimes, metal embellishments were added.
Early rocking chairs were light-medium in weight. Many of them were finished with wax or oil. Occasionally, they were sprayed with lacquer, a clear coating that protects the wood.
If the rocking chair was made before the 18th century, it may not have a maker’s mark. This can be a number, a word, or a stamped label.
Rattan rocking chair
It can be intimidating to start looking for an antique rocking chair. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to identify and assess the quality of your piece.
One method is to look at the manufacturer’s mark. This can be a simple letter or a number. Other marks can include words or even the year it was made.
If you are not sure whether or not you are looking at an authentic antique rocking chair, it is best to have a professional appraise it. You can also search online marketplaces that offer free appraisals.
Another method to determine the age of your chair is to examine the nails and wood. Early nails were square and weren’t as smooth as nails today. In the 1800s, screws and nails were not machine-made, so their appearance is a clue.
When choosing an antique rocking chair, make sure it has a hardwood frame. If it has a particle board or composite wood, it is probably not an authentic antique.