Benjamin Harrison Presidential Rocker, ca. 1890
Appraised Value: $5,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (1:11)
Senior Vice President & Director, American Furniture and Decorative Arts
APPRAISER: I'd say we're looking at a sort of a rare model of a circa 1888 or 1890 rocker, which is a spring seat rocker with a rare patent cast-iron mechanism underneath. It's probably made by the Hunzinger Company in Brooklyn, New York, in about 1888, 1890. Of course, the great thing about your chair, which all the other chairs don't have, is a little brass plaque which is right at the back of the seat here, and it's inscribed: "Chair used by Benjamin Harrison when president of the United States, and presented by him to Colonel William Crook, March 1893." So this was actually used, of course, by President Harrison and given to his friend with the unfortunate last name of Mr. Crook. So tell me how you actually acquired this chair.
GUEST: Well, it was in the family. I don't know exactly how it got in the family, but it was there and I noticed it as a young boy, about ten years old, and I asked my parents if I could go ahead and be the keeper of the chair, and they said,
"Fine, it's yours."
APPRAISER: Have you been using this ever since? I noticed you replaced the seat.
GUEST: Yes, I have it at a nice desk in the house. I don't use it that much.
APPRAISER: This chair has a great provenance with this 19th-century plaque, and it has a good history with it. And it's probably worth in the area, if it came up at public auction, probably in the area of about $5,000.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: Yes, absolutely.
GUEST: Well, that is very interesting.
APPRAISER: I'm glad you've taken such good care of it.
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