18th-Century Rhode Island Windsor Chair & 19th-Century Windsor Rocker

Value (2007) | $16,600 Insurance
Watch  

GUEST:
When my parents bought their first home, my mother wanted to fill it with American... early American antiques.

APPRAISER:
And when was this?

GUEST:
1950, 1951. 1950?

APPRAISER:
And where, was it right here, in Spokane?

GUEST:
No, it was in Los Angeles. I wanted to know their value, because I want to insure them properly. My father always warned me that they were valuable, but that's all he ever said.

APPRAISER:
Okay... No numbers or anything? Okay.

GUEST:
No.

APPRAISER:
First of all, I love Windsor chairs.

GUEST:
I do, too.

APPRAISER:
Okay, you love them, too?

GUEST:
I have seven at home.

APPRAISER:
That's great... Seven of them. Well, which one of these do you think is the better chair?

GUEST:
I don't know.

APPRAISER:
Which would you pick?

GUEST:
I would think this one's older. But I wouldn't know.

GUEST:
That's older, okay. All right. But you don't have any idea of value comparison?

GUEST:
No.

APPRAISER:
Okay. Let me just quickly say, this is a lovely oval seat, probably New England. It has a pine seat-- you always look underneath here at the wood, and that looks like white pine. It suggests it's New England because they used a lot of white pine there. Nice chair that has... that's a rocker. But it's not going to be that valuable, okay?

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
This little rocker could be insured for about $600, okay? If it had paint, it'd be more valuable. I'm going to slide this rocker back and-and come over to this one. It's a Rhode Island Windsor from about 1760 to 1770.

GUEST:
Oh, cool.

APPRAISER:
Okay? And what's neat about Rhode Island Windsors is that there are a group of them with this profile-- do you see this curved profile? This is the crest rail, these usually hickory or ash-- because their bendable-- spindles come down to this little pillow on top of the seat rail. You see how it's echoed, this S-curve is also echoed here? Now the arms-- I'm going to tip it forward just a little bit. What kind of wood do you think that is? It's a light colored wood, very hard.

GUEST:
I don't know.

APPRASIER: Maple?

GUEST:
Maple?

APPRAISER:
Maple. It's a wood that they used a lot in Rhode Island. They used hard woods. Now, this seat kind of threw me off. It looks like it's chestnut. But that makes sense for Rhode Island. And the wonderful seat with this-- let me just show you this. See that little flair?

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
Now, that was something that you see a lot on English chairs. That wonderful little flair that gives it that extra, extra curve. And this fits the bottom quite nicely, right?

GUEST:
Yes, it's very comfortable.

APPRAISER:
Very comfortable, right? And one of the really nice things about the chair is that the feet are original. These feet usually get cut off, they turn them into rocker chairs, like the other chair was turned into a rocker. Original feet. I couldn't believe it. You know, I look very carefully to see because they're often replaced. You need to check that and that takes away about 80% of the value. But these feet are good. So it's a really, really nice chair. Now, there's one thing that it used to have that it doesn't have anymore. It's missing paint.

GUEST:
Paint?

APPRAISER:
It lost its paint. Almost every Windsor was painted.

GUEST:
Oh, I didn't know that.

APPRAISER:
If you look at the bottom-- do you see this-- has the original wash and then the white, the white paint. So this is what stays. This is the... it's like the DNA that remains after they took away that surface, probably a hundred years ago.

GUEST:
Amazing.

APPRAISER:
Now, for insurance purposes, you could easily put this chair for about $16,000.

GUEST:
$16,000?

APPRAISER:
$16,000, yes.

Wow. $16,000. Just for this chair.

APPRAISER:
So that's quite a difference.

GUEST:
Wow. That's a lot.

APPRAISER:
That's a lot.

GUEST:
For a chair.

APPRAISER:
It is a lot for a chair, and it should be protected. Would you like to sit in it? Okay?

GUEST:
Oh, sure.

APPRAISER:
Have a seat. Do you mind if I sit in this

GUEST:
No.

APPRAISER:
and I can look up at you. Okay. Now, if the white paint were still on there,

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
it would probably be, kind of on a bad day, $60,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Now, your mom didn't take the paint off, so you can't blame her.

GUEST:
No. No, she didn't.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Keno Auctions
New York, NY
Appraised value (2007)
$16,600 Insurance
Event
Spokane, WA (August 04, 2007)
Form
Chair
Material
Ash, Chestnut, Maple, Pine

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