I just got these two old chairs
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  1. #1
    us
    May 2006
    san francisco, ca.
    Bounty Hunter
    92
    4 times

    I just got these two old chairs

    Hi fellow treasure hunters! Haven't posted for awhile, and hope all are well. My curiosity is killing me about these chairs I have recently gotton. It is VERY difficult for me to determine their age, where they originated, etc. and I was wondering if any of my friends here on Tnet would happen to have any insight, or information they could share with me on them. I hope the pictures will do some justice, but to actually see, and to feel them is a trip!!! The animal skin is so hard and tight, it's amazing. The seats are almost like a drum! Only one spot on one of them has moved a little from the original place it was tacked down. The tack nails are very old, and brown rust has begun to surround them on the skin. I don't even know what kind of wood it is, but it is hard and still in strong. There is alot of strange markings all over the chairs and various places look like there was something maybe burnt in to wood, but no signature per se. Several places look like there's some kind of words or symbols that are very very small. They are not in english and almost appear hieroglyphic.
    The design of the chair is simple and square fitted together from one piece to the next with like a 2 in. by 1/2 in. insertion that doesnt appear to be like a "peg".
    They just appear to me to be very very very old. They were put together simply and WELL! And at least in my estimation over 150 years ago,perhaps even many more than that. Thanks so much for any info in advance!!!!
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    Steven

  2. #2
    us
    https://www.youtube.com/c/BigCypressSwamp

    Dec 2004
    South Florida
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    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    I would try and date the screws. They look like flatheads. Too bad they didnt use brass tacks. It would seem a furniture company would have used something more presentable, like a furniture tack .. Maybe they are home made. The wood looks strong. Can we see the markings?

    I had a screw dating chart but cant find it.

  3. #3
    us
    May 2006
    san francisco, ca.
    Bounty Hunter
    92
    4 times

    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    I will try to post a couple of the things I see. I really hope it's not a "flashback" from when I was in high scool and saw all kinds of things in the wood grains a couple of times too!!!! LOL!!! Thanks for your help....By the way the nails are short with very flat heads are needle sharp and appear man made...
    Steven

  4. #4
    us
    https://www.youtube.com/c/BigCypressSwamp

    Dec 2004
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    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    Of course the screws could be added later. Look at the slots to see if any are oft-centered. Here is a great link on dating screws. http://cool.conservation-us.org/cool...ood_Screws.pdf

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  5. #5
    us
    May 2006
    san francisco, ca.
    Bounty Hunter
    92
    4 times

    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    I just double checked and there are no screws at all in either chair, only the very sharp seemingly handmade "nails".
    Steven

  6. #6

    Feb 2008
    1,487
    32 times

    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    I would guess 30s or later rawhide covered. Usually used in restaurant or lodge settings.

  7. #7
    us
    Sep 2010
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    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    I don't see any pegs, but in photo 3 I see what looks like a head of a square nail. In the very last photo the grain looks like Oak, at least to me, I'm not an expert, but have worked with a little oak, besides burning it, then I worked with lots of it. The leather was stretched wet, and as it dried it shrunk to the tight fit. The leather has been done just like the "tree" on a western saddle. I'll see if I can google a photo of one and post it later. The "tree" is the the inner rawhide covered frame of the saddle, and the hide is tacked in place just like the chairs. My age guess is early 1900's because of the wire made tacks. Possibly hand made by a saddle maker.
    Due to the high price of ammunition there will be no warning shot.

  8. #8
    us
    Mar 2009
    Grainte Bay
    Coinmaster/Di
    112
    158 times

    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    I say your chairs a very old. they are held together with mortis & tinon joints with a hardwood dowel holding them in place. You can see them on the legs. Also the leather looks orig. to the chair in the pic.with the leather comming loose there are not alot of holes from been redone in the past. wood type maple or some type of fuirt wood. I think the are from 1750 to 1800 don't refinish or repair! Take them to a antinque store or furnture repair shop to get a better build date, and wood type. A good old furnture maker dosen,t use nails or scerws! and they are good looking old chairs.

  9. #9
    us
    https://www.youtube.com/c/BigCypressSwamp

    Dec 2004
    South Florida
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    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    Quote Originally Posted by treasurehuntr2
    I just double checked and there are no screws at all in either chair, only the very sharp seemingly handmade "nails".
    Oh OK. I thought I saw slotted heads but looking closer, I see the nails.
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  10. #10
    us
    Sep 2010
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    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    Quote Originally Posted by BrassEagle
    I say your chairs a very old. they are held together with mortis & tinon joints with a hardwood dowel holding them in place. You can see them on the legs. Also the leather looks orig. to the chair in the pic.with the leather comming loose there are not alot of holes from been redone in the past. wood type maple or some type of fuirt wood. I think the are from 1750 to 1800 don't refinish or repair! Take them to a antinque store or furnture repair shop to get a better build date, and wood type. A good old furnture maker dosen,t use nails or scerws! and they are good looking old chairs.
    I see the pegs you are talking about on the front view of the chair, however photo 3 still looks like a square nail head to me. Dating them as "very old" means different things to different people. The wire nails and lack of former holes, to me dates the chair at the latest, to the manufacture of wire nails. Perhaps a time when wire and square nails were overlapped, ie: early 1900's. They look to be home made mostly because the nail heads aren't fancy. My guess is a saddle maker that is familiar with using rawhide. I've looked at the pictures again, and I still say oak from the looks of the grain. The nail holes would have to be pre-drilled, because those nails would bend trying to be driven into oak.

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    Note the tacks in the saddle tree that is completely covered with rawhide.
    Due to the high price of ammunition there will be no warning shot.

  11. #11
    us
    Feb 2006
    New York, NY
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    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    Treasurhuntr,

    After the nails - which may have been added later as noted by others (they look machine made from here) I would look at the type of joinery used to hold the square together and to hold the legs to the square. You can google "types of wood joints" or "antique wood joints" to get an idea on the time at which different types of joinery were used/popular.

    Also - it appears to me (not an expert) that the chairs were made with hand tools. You can google how to figure that our as well. Focus on the unfinished undersides --- where you see what look like chisel marks in your photos.

    The chairs are definitely primitive looking. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to tell the difference between something that was made at a time when a certain type of technology was not yet available (say pre electric saws, planers etc) and something that was made recently in a place where a certain type of technology is not yet readily available or labor is cheaper than technology. For example, some modern African iron work looks and feels incredibly similar to 19th century American African work. Of course things can also be intentionally made to look old by hobbyists. But your chairs have a very legit look to them. I think they are awesome looking and would fetch a very nice price.

  12. #12
    us
    Dec 2006
    Clarkston, MI
    Minelab explorer
    49
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    I am guessing that these are made with hand tools from the marks on them. The dowels appear to be hand cut, as well as the mortice and tenon joints. Appear to be Oak.

    I would guess that they are most likely early Western / South Western from the design, and would fathom a guess of early - Mid 1800's.

    You may want to try to contact the Keno's, as they seem to be all knowledgable about furniture. www.kenoauctions.com

  13. #13
    stefen

    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    I agree...most likely southwest...probably New Mexico...

    My brother-in-law imported similar chairs (and tables) from Mexico around the mid 1980's...

    Wood might be yellow pine, mesquite or cottonwood...popular in this area for furniture.

  14. #14
    us
    Sep 2010
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    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    After 1900 wire nails made up 90% of the production of nails. http://www.harpgallery.com/library/nails.htm
    Due to the high price of ammunition there will be no warning shot.

  15. #15

    Jan 2005
    South Georgia
    3,173
    797 times

    Re: I just got these two old chairs

    The wood is almost certainly hard maple. Definitely not oak or pine. The grain and tearout characteristics match hard maple. The chairs are craftsman style mortise and tenon joints. A piece of furniture can be assembled solely with this style construction with no screws, nails, or glue required. The rawhide was installed wet, then as it dried, it pulled tight and held the chair together even that much tighter. I've seen a lot of them, mostly rocking chairs, with deer skin on them and this probably is as well. I'm not an expert, but I'd guess mid to late 19th century.
    "A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them;
    the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences."
    - Proverbs 22:3

 

 
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