Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Antique & Vintage Furniture Values

I have to admit it to you it took me awhile to even think about the value of antique and vintage furniture again. Those of you who know me know I usually stay away from furniture because of its size, transportation and storage issues, but when I started seeing high quality furniture selling at local auctions for very low prices, I started doing some research, and after yesterday's blog on furniture, I continued my research.

Even though I think the price guide may be a little high for today’s market I began my research by turning to Kovel's Price Guide. Boy, did I get some surprises when I opened the price guide. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

I don’t know why, but I was drawn to chairs, perhaps because they still might not test my strength in moving them.

In Kovel’s guide, almost all the illustrated pictures of chairs were listed in the thousands. It was hard for me to find items for less than $300. This got my attention, especially when I am seeing wonderful antique chairs selling for $50. I believe the back of my truck will be holding a few of these chairs in the near future. I’ve stated before that having a copy of Kovel’s Price Guide is often a starting point with any research you do. If you don’t yet have a copy I suggest one today.

Here’s a sample of what is illustrated in the guide: Airline Chair by Kem Weber cantilevered from the 30's with arms $8960. No bad for a start, but we’re just beginning. Next, a Chippendale corner chair made with Mahogany c.1890, 31”, $1350.

When I turned the page, I couldn’t believe it! A chair I had just seen at an estate sale this past month that had been priced at $2500. The guide states its worth $38,500. What kind of chair is worth this much? It was an Eames chair, called a “pony chair”. The picture is in the guide. It’s covered in a cowhide bought back and seat. This is a modern chair, and we’ve discussed modern furniture in other blogs. We have discussed Arts and Crafts in other blogs as well, so it should be no surprise to you that a Stickley chair is listed at $4400. I've linked these previous blogs below.

There is an endless variety of chairs to choose from. I haven’t even mentioned all the chairs like Empire, Federal, French, Hepplewhite, Queen Anne and so many others. Keep your eyes open for the opportunity to purchase the highest quality chairs and those in demand. Some real good money can be made buying these items right.

Way back when I first stated buying antiques, I purchased a set of 12 wonderful bow back chairs with leather seats and a matching table. When my living arrangements changed, these were sold. If I remember correctly, I paid $150 per chair and $500 for the table. They were later sold for $350 a chair and $1500 for the table. The sad part about this is that today, I believe the chairs would bring $1000 each and the table, $15,000 - $20,000. But, the money has got to keep moving.

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TODAY'S PHOTO is a Charles Eames (1907-1978) 1946 side chair


Modern Design Furniture


1 comment:

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