Featured Ball & Claw Chair

Discussion in 'Furniture' started by Ospho, Nov 28, 2023.

  1. Ospho

    Ospho Member

    Good afternoon everyone,

    I'm excited to share my latest find—a chair featuring exquisite ball and claw design elements. I stumbled upon this gem at an irresistibly low price online, and after confirming with the seller, I decided to take a closer look in person. The seller, who was remarkably forthright, acknowledged the chair's value exceeded the asking price. However, due to an imminent home downsizing, they were eager to expedite the sale of some items.

    The chair's style has been linked to both Chippendale and Louis XV designs, which piqued my interest even further. Despite a thorough examination for any identifying marks, stamps, or other indicators of its provenance and age, the only clue I've uncovered is a faint inscription with a date that remains a mystery to me.

    I'm reaching out to this knowledgeable community in hopes of learning more about the chair's background. Based on the attached photos, any insights into its approximate year of creation, region of origin, or the craftsman behind it would be immensely helpful. All I've ascertained so far is that it's over a century old, but I'm eager to uncover more details about this fascinating piece. Your expertise and input would be greatly valued. Thank you in advance for your assistance!

    Front.jpg IMG_5904.jpeg IMG_5901.jpeg IMG_5902.jpeg IMG_5906.jpeg IMG_5907.jpeg IMG_5908.jpeg IMG_5909.jpeg IMG_5910.jpeg IMG_5912.jpeg
  2. Ghopper1924

    Ghopper1924 Well-Known Member

    Hi there:

    I take it you bought the chair in Yorkshire? I would guess walnut, ca. 1880s. Difficult to determine a maker, since most pieces from the 19th century were not signed, and there were dozens of shops making furniture. Very nice!
    Figtree3, judy, pearlsnblume and 3 others like this.
  3. Ospho

    Ospho Member


    Yes the chair was bought in Yorkshire :) The only thing I have in terms of a signature is this which I still struggle to read.
    Friends have seen;

    I'm sure there are more options. 73040252-CD37-4FDA-97F1-8C89737FCD08.JPG
    judy and pearlsnblume like this.
  4. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    I see 91/41/36.
    johnnycb09 likes this.
  5. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    I'd think '36 would be just about right for that upholstery.

  6. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Certainly Chippendale influenced but not period. Am wondering if this might be an Anglo-Indian import. Seems we had a similar chair here at some point. Someone pointed out the double caning as being typical of tropical colonial production. Couldn't find the thread with that post but maybe someone else will remember it.
  7. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Was hoping to see some more comments. I haven't been able to find a good comparable with provenance out there. I am less sure about this being an import than I am the table. I am also not an expert in English antiques. Hopefully, someone with better knowledge will still come around.
  8. bluumz

    bluumz Quite Busy

    In my admittedly NON-expert opinion, it looks like a 1930s/40s repro to me. It is in need of reupholstering and would likely fetch under $50 on the resale market in my midwestern USA area, if a buyer could even be found. A pair might do better.

    As for the OP's statement that "the seller acknowledged the chair's value exceeded the asking price"... well, pretty much every seller says that about their item. And then they all go on to give some reason (moving, divorce, death in the family, etc) why they need a quick sale. It's a common sales technique meant to influence a prospective buyer into purchasing their item. Personally, I don't trust sellers who use manipulative methods like that, it immediately puts me on my guard.
  9. Ghopper1924

    Ghopper1924 Well-Known Member

    Ok, 1930s revival piece. Never too late to learn something! Still a nice one!
    judy likes this.
  10. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    lovely chair !
    Figtree3 and judy like this.
  11. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Not screaming Old at me either, not that I know much about British furniture. I'd have thought it 1960s, but Ghopper is a Furniture Guy and I'm not. (also not a guy)
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  12. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    I remember the thread. Someone wondered if double caning would indicate a tropical origin, thought maybe double caning was cooler than single caning. So speculating, but no positive tropical origin id.

    I have never seen double caning on colonial furniture. For instance, if you look at the classic 'planter's chair', it has single caning.
    Caning as such provides ventilation, but I don't see what an extra layer could add to that. I think a double layer means the back of the chair is a bit more sturdy. So maybe it is a sign of quality, rather than climate.

    I saw similar chairs to OP's, with double caning, coming out of Italy in the 1980s and 90s. Which doesn't necessarily mean this one is 1980s-90s, or even Italian. I do think it is 20th century.
    Same here. But I do remember those Italian chairs were pricey, so the seller was probably right. But in essence it is a (good quality) second hand chair, not antique or collectible, so the seller can't expect to get what he paid for it.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
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  13. Ospho

    Ospho Member

    Many thanks for the detailed response. We paid 80 GBP for this chair, I have found this same chair on various websites so it's hard to fix a true value on it.



    https://www.maryleboneantiques.co.uk/shop/sold-items/pair-of-antique-walnut-bergere-armchairs/ - These sold for 1,000+ GBP

    Either way it's the most comfortable chair and great for our cottage! :)
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  14. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Funny how that works, isn't it. I immediately thought of those 1980s-90s Italian chairs, but also thought Ghopper knows much more about furniture than I do, so I didn't mention it.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
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  15. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Perfect. And it is good quality, so it will last a lifetime.
    judy and Ospho like this.
  16. Ghopper1924

    Ghopper1924 Well-Known Member

    I appreciate your faith in me, but I don’t know plenty! This does now seem like an early-to-mid 20th century piece to me, but in the $ realm we’re dealing with it doesn’t really matter if it’s mid or late 20th. What matters is that the OP loves it!
    Ospho, Any Jewelry, verybrad and 2 others like this.
  17. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Not a good sign for this being old despite what the sellers say. Think you paid a good price given the quality. Higher would not have been out of line for a chair to use.

    Then a good deal for sure!
    Ghopper1924, Any Jewelry and komokwa like this.
  18. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

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  19. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    that's the best reason to risk cash on anything !
    Ospho, Ghopper1924 and Any Jewelry like this.
  20. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    If it's comfy and high quality, 80 quid is a good price to pay. Old or not.
    Ospho likes this.
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