How to Date a Nichols and Stone Chair
Dating antique furniture can be a fascinating journey into the past, uncovering the stories and craftsmanship behind each piece. One such iconic brand that holds a special place in the history of American furniture is Nichols and Stone. Known for their high-quality chairs, Nichols and Stone have been producing furniture since 1857. If you are lucky enough to own a Nichols and Stone chair or are considering purchasing one, here is a guide on how to date these timeless pieces.
1. Research the company’s history: Before diving into dating your Nichols and Stone chair, familiarize yourself with the company’s history. Understanding the different marks and styles used throughout the years will assist you in determining the age of your chair.
2. Examine the construction: Nichols and Stone chairs are known for their solid construction and quality materials. Look for signs of handcrafted joinery, such as dovetail or mortise and tenon joints. These techniques were commonly used in older pieces.
3. Inspect the wood: Nichols and Stone primarily used hardwoods like oak, maple, and cherry in their furniture. Check for signs of age, such as patina or distressing, which can indicate the chair’s age.
4. Check for manufacturer’s marks: Nichols and Stone chairs often have manufacturer’s marks, typically found on the underside of the seat or on the back of the chair. These marks can provide crucial information about the date of production.
5. Look for labels: In addition to marks, Nichols and Stone chairs may also have labels attached to them. These labels can further assist in identifying the age and authenticity of the chair.
6. Compare styles: Nichols and Stone chairs went through different design phases over the years. By comparing the style of your chair to known examples from different eras, you can narrow down its age range.
7. Consult reference books: Utilize reference books on antique furniture to learn more about Nichols and Stone chairs. Look for specific information on the company’s markings and styles to aid in dating your chair.
8. Seek professional appraisals: If you are unsure about the age of your Nichols and Stone chair, consider seeking a professional appraisal. An expert can provide valuable insights and authenticate your piece.
9. Join antique communities: Engage with fellow antique enthusiasts in online forums or local antique groups. Sharing photos and descriptions of your Nichols and Stone chair can help you gather more information from experienced collectors.
10. Consider the provenance: If you acquired your Nichols and Stone chair from a specific source, such as an estate sale or auction, try to gather information about its previous owners. This can provide clues to the chair’s age and history.
11. Explore auction records: Look into auction records of Nichols and Stone furniture to see if similar chairs have been sold in the past. This can give you an idea of the chair’s value and age range.
12. Visit antique shows: Attend antique shows and exhibitions that feature Nichols and Stone furniture. Speaking with dealers and collectors can provide valuable insights into dating your chair.
13. Preserve the original condition: Whether you have determined the exact age of your Nichols and Stone chair or not, it is essential to preserve its original condition. Avoid refinishing or altering the piece unless necessary, as it can diminish its value and historical significance.
Common Questions about Dating Nichols and Stone Chairs:
1. How old is my Nichols and Stone chair?
2. What types of wood did Nichols and Stone use in their chairs?
3. Where can I find manufacturer’s marks on a Nichols and Stone chair?
4. How can I distinguish between different styles of Nichols and Stone chairs?
5. Are there any specific reference books on Nichols and Stone furniture?
6. Can I date my Nichols and Stone chair without professional help?
7. How do I join antique communities to gather more information?
8. What does the provenance of a Nichols and Stone chair reveal?
9. Can I find auction records of Nichols and Stone furniture online?
10. How can attending antique shows help in dating my chair?
11. Should I restore my Nichols and Stone chair if it is in poor condition?
12. How can I find an expert appraiser for my Nichols and Stone chair?
13. Can Nichols and Stone chairs be dated accurately based on style alone?
By following these guidelines and conducting thorough research, you can successfully date your Nichols and Stone chair. Remember, each piece of antique furniture tells a unique story and understanding its history adds to its charm and value.