Leopold & John George Stickley Chair, ca. 1917
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $4,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:34)
Pottery & Porcelain
Rago Arts & Auction Center
APPRAISER: Who are these people in these photographs over here?
GUEST: They're my grandparents.
APPRAISER: And they're the original owners of these chairs?
GUEST: The original owners. They purchased them in November 1917 in Boston, and this is the original receipt for them.
APPRAISER: I've never seen one of those before. And this chair is actually on that receipt?
GUEST: It is.
APPRAISER: And you have the other pieces of furniture on that receipt as well?
GUEST: I have the six pieces, yes.
APPRAISER: So these pieces have all stayed in the family?
GUEST: They've all stayed together.
APPRAISER: According to the receipt, how much did this chair originally sell for?
GUEST: It sold for $32.
APPRAISER: That's quite a bit of money back then.
GUEST: Yes, it was.
APPRAISER: We've seen other pieces of Mission furniture on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW before, but mostly by Gustav Stickley and not by his brothers, John George and Leopold Stickley, who were his brothers and competitors. So this is an L. & J.G. Stickley chair, also from New York State. And at first blush, it's a lot like the chairs that Gustav Stickley was making. But one of the reasons I wanted to show this chair-- aside from the great story about your grandparents and the original bill of sale-- was I wanted to show why this is different from a chair made by Gustav Stickley. So there's several key things you look for in an L. & J.G. Stickley chair that separate it. First of all, across the front board, on seating pieces like sofas and morris chairs, the board is beveled at the very top. Okay, that is a design element unique to L. & J.G. Stickley. On top of that, on many of the posts on L. & J.G. Stickley furniture, you have what's called a quadrilinear post. This post is actually five pieces of wood. There are four pieces of wood on the outside joined together, and then a solid core in the center. You see that, L. & J.G. Stickley. Not always, but almost always. Third, the corbels on L. & J.G. Stickley tend to be long and thin, rather than Gustav, they tend to be fatter and shorter.
GUEST: Oh, I see.
APPRAISER: And then finally... Gustav Stickley morris chairs... And a morris chair is a chair with a back that you can adjust. Gustav Stickley chairs tend to have pegs that you can put in different holes, whereas on an L. & J.G. chair, there's actually a back bar most of the time. There are some chairs with pegs, but almost always they have these adjustable bars. And, of course, if you're in doubt, there's always the factory label at the very bottom. This finish has been skinned at some point, back in the day. It looks like it's been a while. The original finish has been at least partially removed. In the condition it's in, which is very solid and fine except for the finish, this chair is worth somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000. It would have been worth about double that had the finish been left alone.
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