Dating a Nichols and Stone rocking chair can tell you its age, when it was made, what kind of wood it’s made from, and what type of construction it was built with. With this guide, you’ll easily be able to trace the history of your chair and determine its unique features.
What is a Nichols and Stone Rocking Chair?
Nichols and Stone is a well-respected furniture maker producing high-quality, solid-wood furniture in New England for over 250 years. The company was founded in 1813 in Gardner, Massachusetts and has produced handcrafted furniture for over two centuries. One of their most popular products is the rocking chair, a beloved and timeless home furniture. Whether you have a family heirloom or just purchased a Nichols and Stone rocking chair at an antique store, dating and valuing your piece can provide valuable insights into its history and significance.
6 Secret Ways for How to Date a Nichols and Stone Rocking Chair
Nichols and Stone has been making quality furniture since 1857. It is possible to date Nichols and Stone rocking chairs with some detective work.
Inspect the Tag Attached to the Rocker for a Date Code
Many Nichols and Stone rocking chairs have a label on the bottom containing the company’s name, address, and date of manufacture. To check for a label, flip the chair over and look at the bottom. The original Nichols and Stone label is rectangular, with a lion’s head in the middle. After 1898, the labels were enclosed in a circle. If you see a label, you can be sure that the chair is genuine Nichols and Stone. The label will say “Nichols and Stone” and include the company location of Gardner, Massachusetts. The label can provide valuable information about the chair’s age, but remember that not all chairs have a label.
Identify Variations in Chairs From Different Eras
The production of Nichols and Stone rocking chairs has spanned many decades. As such, it is essential to note the differences in design and construction from era to era. Older models tend to feature more intricate designs with intricate details and refined materials, while newer models incorporate more modernized elements with simpler designs. By recognizing these differences and knowing which production years were associated with which type of design features, you can better pinpoint the age of the chair you are examining. Specific characteristics such as types of wood used for construction can also help you determine a chair’s era.
Analyzing Colors, Finishes and Upholstery for Age Determination
Colors, finishes and upholstery are all critical factors to consider when dating a Nichols and Stone rocking chair. Older chairs generally have brighter colors, while newer models have brown hues and muted tones. Finishes such as paint or wax showing wear can also indicate an older model. Lastly, consider the fabric or upholstery used on the seat or arms, as this can also give clues about a chair’s age. Distinctive patterns, textures and colors help differentiate between newer and older Nichols and Stone rocking chairs.
Inspect the Wood
Examine the wood to determine its age. If it’s a pine or soft wood chair, it was probably made in the early 1900s or before; after World War I, the company used oak or birch almost exclusively – although there were some cherry pieces made around 1910
Price Index of Popular Styles to Compare With Yours
Understanding the value of your rocking chair is essential in vintage furniture assessment. To better understand the current market value, you can use a pricing index to compare against similar rocking chairs from Nichols and Stone. Focus on particular elements such as materials used or craftsmanship because these are vital factors that will influence the price of a rocking chair. Additionally, consider condition when considering your price comparisons to get the most accurate figure for your rocking chair.
Research Manufacturing Dates and Historical Context
If your rocking chair doesn’t have a label or clear design elements, you can try researching the manufacturing dates and historical context of Nichols and Stone rocking chairs. Online forums, antique stores, and auction houses can be great resources for this type of information. You can also consult books and guides on antique furniture to learn more about the history of Nichols and Stone rocking chairs.
By using these ways/methods, you can better understand when your Nichols and Stone rocking chair was made and gain insight into its significance and value.
You Can Check It Out to Clean Rocking Chair Cushions
How to Value a Nichols and Stone Rocking Chair
If you have a Nichols and Stone rocking chair and are curious about its value, there are several factors to consider.
Age and Rarity
Older Nichols and Stone rocking chairs are generally more valuable than newer ones, especially if they have unique or rare design elements. Additionally, Nichols and Stone rocking chairs that were only produced for a short time or in limited quantities may be more valuable than those that were mass-produced.
The condition of the rocking chair can significantly impact its value. Chairs in excellent condition, with little to no damage, are typically worth more than those with noticeable wear and tear or damage. However, remember that some collectors prefer pieces with a bit of patina and character.
Style and Design
Nichols and Stone rocking chairs come in several styles and designs; some may be more sought-after than others. For example, Windsor-style rocking chairs and those with unique design elements, such as carved details or unusual backrests, may be more valuable than simpler designs.
If your Nichols and Stone rocking chair has a particularly interesting history, such as being owned by a famous person or used in a significant event, it may be more valuable than similar chairs without such a history.
To determine the value of your Nichols and Stone rocking chair, you can consult with antique dealers, furniture appraisers, and auction houses. Online marketplaces like eBay and Etsy can also provide insight into what similar chairs are selling for. Remember that your chair’s value may fluctuate based on market demand and other factors, so it’s essential to research and consult with experts to get an accurate valuation.
Examples and Case Studies
Mary inherited a Nichols and Stone rocking chair from her grandmother and wanted to know its value. She researched the company’s history and discovered that Nichols and Stone had been making rocking chairs since the 18th century. Mary examined the chair closely and found a label on the bottom containing the company’s name and date of manufacture, which was in the early 1900s. She also checked the condition of the chair and found some minor damage, which she recorded. Mary then contacted an antique dealer and provided them with all the information she had gathered. The dealer appraised the chair for $800 based on age, rarity, and condition.
John found a Nichols and Stone rocking chair at a garage sale and bought it for $50. He noticed that the chair had a unique design that he had never seen before. John researched the company’s history and found that the chair’s design was from the 1930s. He examined the chair carefully and found no damage. John contacted an antique dealer and provided them with all the information he had gathered. The dealer appraised the chair for $500 based on age, rarity, design, and condition.
A couple in Massachusetts inherited a Nichols and Stone rocking chair from a family member. They were curious about its age and value, so they contacted an antique appraiser. The appraiser examined the chair and found a label on the bottom containing the company’s name and date of manufacture, which was in the mid-1800s. The appraiser also noted that the chair had a unique design and was in excellent condition. After researching and consulting with other experts, the appraiser appraised the chair for $1,200. The couple decided to sell the chair at an auction and received multiple bids, eventually selling it for $2,500. They were thrilled with the outcome and were glad they took the time to determine the chair’s value.
Step-by-Step Guide for Maintaining a Nichols and Stone Rocking Chair
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to maintain a Nichols and Stone rocking chair:
To keep your Nichols and Stone rocking chair in good condition, clean it regularly. Use a soft cloth or a brush to remove any dust, dirt, or debris that may accumulate on the chair’s surface. You can also use a mild soap solution and warm water to clean the chair.
Avoid Exposure to Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight can cause the finish of the rocking chair to fade or crack over time. Therefore, it is best to avoid placing the chair in areas where it will be exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods.
Protect the Finish
To protect the finish of your rocking chair, you can use a coat of furniture wax or polish. This will help to protect the surface from scratches, spills, and other types of damage. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the wax or polish.
Repair any Damage
If your Nichols and Stone rocking chair has any damage, such as a broken spindle or loose arms, it must be repaired as soon as possible. You can take it to a professional furniture restorer or try repairing it yourself using the instructions in this video tutorial.
Store the Chair Properly
If you need to store your rocking chair for an extended period, be sure to do so in a dry and cool place. Avoid storing it in areas with high humidity or temperature fluctuations.
Get a Professional Appraisal
If you want to sell your Nichols and Stone rocking chair or want to know its actual value, it’s best to get a professional appraisal. Nichols and Stone furniture is highly sought after by collectors, so it’s essential to get an accurate valuation. Stickley offers a range of Nichols and Stone chairs, and their website provides information about the company’s history and furniture styles.
Following these tips, you can keep your Nichols and Stone rocking chair looking beautiful and functional for years. You can check out the Nichols and Stone rocking chairs listings on Etsy and eBay for more information and inspiration. You can also explore Chairish’s vintage Nichols and Stone furniture and read discussions on Houzz about identifying Nichols and Stone rockers.
FAQs About How to Date a Nichols and Stone Rocking Chair
Is Nichols and Stone Furniture Still in Business?
Nichols and Stone furniture company closed its factory after 151 years of operation, but a second company purchased and continued the rights to the company’s name and designs. Therefore, Nichols and Stone furniture is still in business, not the original company founded in 1762.
What is the History of Rocking Chairs?
Rocking chairs have a rich history dating back to the late 18th century, when the word “rocking chair” was first included in the dictionary. The Shaker rocking chair was invented in New York in 1820, and the Boston rocking chair emerged in 1825. Throughout the years, the type of wood used to make rocking chairs has varied, with oak and maple being expected in the 1700s and mahogany being used in the 1800s. Rocking chairs were also made from wicker in 1860. Today, various styles of rockers are still being manufactured.
In conclusion, Nichols and Stone rocking chairs are well-known for their quality and durability and have a long history dating back to the 18th century. If you have a Nichols and Stone rocking chair, determining its age and value can be a fascinating process. You can better understand your chair’s worth by examining age, rarity, condition, style, design, and historical significance. Consulting with experts and researching can help you get an accurate valuation and ensure you get the best price if you decide to sell your chair. Whether you’re a collector, enthusiast, or just curious about your chair’s history, learning about its age and value can add to your appreciation of this timeless piece of furniture.