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 for how to date a nichols and stone rocking chair.
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, 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.
4 Key Steps for How to Date a Nichols and Stone Rocking Chair
Nichols and Stone have been making quality furniture since 1857. However, putting an exact date on a Nichols and Stone rocker can be tricky without the right clues. Here is a step-by-step guide how to date a nichols and stone rocking chair:
Step 1: Check for Markings
The first place to look when dating any antique furniture is markings. Carefully inspect your rocking chair for any stamped marks, paper labels, or engravings that could indicate a year of manufacture.
- Common stamp locations include the bottom of the seat, back slats, or rocker slats. Keep an eye out for date stamps or codes.
- Some chairs have a burned-in circular maker’s mark reading “NICHOLSTONE” and “All Iviroh” indicating an older piece.
Step 2: Analyze Physical Details
Even without markings, the physical details of construction can offer clues about the era:
- Wood species used, such as oak for early chairs vs. later use of maple and mahogany.
- Joinery methods like square nails vs. wood screws. Dovetail joints suggest handcrafted age.
- The texture and patina of the wood. Well-worn vintage wood has a distinctive aged look.
Study online guides to learn how such details relate to different periods.
Step 3: Identify Style
Nichols and Stone rockers evolved through several style periods:
- Early 1850-1900s styles have ornamental turnings, carved crests, spindles, etc.
- 1910-30s styles move towards sleeker Mission and prairie influences.
- 1940s chairs take on more contemporary curved forms.
Knowing stylistic timeline details aids dating.
Step 4: Consult Experts
If unsure, consider hiring a professional appraiser specializing in antiques. Experts can examine the rocker in person and pinpoint an estimated date range based on an accumulation of evidence.
Dating a vintage Nichols and Stone rocker takes some work, but the clues are there! With careful sleuthing and research, you can get a good read on your special chair’s history. This covers the key steps to identifying the age and history of a Nichols and Stone rocking chair.
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.
1. 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.
3. 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.
4. Historical Significance
Suppose 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. In that case, 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 sifted through the chair 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.
5 Easy 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:
Step 1: Regular Cleaning
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.
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: 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 immediately. You can take it to a professional furniture restorer or try repairing it yourself using the instructions in this video tutorial.
Step 5: 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.
Step 5: 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’s 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.
You Can Check It Out to Ship a Rocking Chair.
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.
What Year Was the Rocking Chair Made?
The rocking chair was made in the early 18th century, with Benjamin Franklin credited with inventing it in 1710. However, variations of rocking chairs, such as chairs with rollers and rocking horses, existed even earlier than that. The term “rocking chair” first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1787. Peter Cooper designed the first steel rocking chair in America during the 1830s, which was displayed at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851. Rocking chairs have since evolved in design, with various types including iron-frame, bentwood, Boston, folding, and wicker rocking chairs.
Are Rocking Chairs Valuable?
Rocking chairs can be valuable, especially antique rocking chairs. The value of a rocking chair depends on factors such as its condition, materials, style, and provenance. Antique rocking chairs, in particular, are highly sought after by collectors and can fetch high prices in the market. For example, a Plail Brothers barrel rocking chair with a drop-in spring seat and rail backing can be worth $1,500 to $2,500. The highest price ever paid for a rocking chair was $80,500 in 2012 for a walnut and ebony chair designed in 1986 by Sam Moloff. If you’re interested in collecting or selling antique rocking chairs, it is recommended to do thorough research, visually inspect the piece, and consider seeking appraisals from specialists or online platforms like Mearto.
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.