How To Tell If Rocking Chair Is an Antique? 2023

How To Tell If Rocking Chair Is an Antique

Determining the age of a rocking chair can be done in a few different ways. One method is to examine the design and style of the chair, which can often give clues about its age. Examine the craftsmanship and any unique design elements and you can get a sense of whether the chair is an older, vintage piece or a modern creation.

Signs of wear and tear, such as squeaking or worn-down rockers, can also indicate that the chair is older. However, it’s important to note that some newer rocking chairs may be made to look antique or vintage, so it’s important to be aware of potential fakes.

Its value can be determined by its age, design, materials, and construction. How to tell if a rocking chair is an antique? Consider the following factors:

The age of the rocking chair is usually available in the manufacturer’s information or the chair’s serial number, design of the chair, the type of the materials used, quality of the construction, and the finish of the chair.

History of Antique Rocking Chairs

History of Rocking Chairs

The history of antique rocker chairs dates back to the 18th century. At that time, it was a common household item.

It was used as a recliner and was also used to entertain guests. The rockers were made from a variety of materials, such as wood, iron, and even brass.

  • In 1725, early rocking chairs first appeared in England. The production of wicker chairs peaked in the mid-18th century in America.
  • In the 1830s, Americans designed the first steel chair.
  • The first rocker seat was invented by a German craftsman, who created the first bentwood rocking chair in 1860.
  • During the 1920s, these chairs became famous in most parts of the United States and Europe.

It has been used since ancient times. It was designed to rock back and forth when someone sat on it.

Today, these chairs are still very popular and comfortable in the house or as decoration in the garden. They come in different sizes and designs.

  • Peter Cooper Rocker Chair

An American industrialist designed a simple, minimalist iron-frame chair that has a design radically different from Victorian traditional and heavy designs.

Steel or wrought iron frames with leather upholstery is the most common type of these chairs today.

  • Bentwood Rocker Chair

This was made in the 1800s and is a beautiful antique chair carved from wood. These chairs are hand-made by skilled artisans in Germany who used traditional methods and techniques.

  • Boston Style 

Originally made in Connecticut, they’re typically made of oak and pine. Usually painted black with signature fruit and floral designs.

  • Wicker Rocking Chair

The Wicker rockers were invented in the early 20th century. These are typically part of a sun parlor set.

  • Pressed Back Chair

With this beautiful style of furniture, the wood back gives an antique look. The pressed-back rocking chair was an American style that lasted for a time during the late 1800s, early 1900s

  • Ladder Back Rocker

The ladder-back has a high backrest and a laid-slat seat design.

Tips To Identify if the Rocking Chair Is an Antique

To distinguish a common machine-made chair from an antique chair, consider the following tips:

Look for its Joinery Style

A Rocking Chair

The most obvious sign that a chair is made of wood and not metal is its joinery. You can recognize a chair that has been crafted with traditional joinery by its square stretcher rails and seat slats.

These pieces are often stained in contrasting colors to give them character. If the chair does not have these parts, it is likely to be made of metal or plastic.

The joints in a handcrafted rocking chair are usually tight, square, and perfectly formed. The joints in a machine-made chair are usually loose, rounded, and poorly formed.

See the Production Marks

To see whether it was handcrafted, look for production marks on the backrests. If the backrest of your rocking chair has production marks, it is likely to be hand-carved or hand-turned and therefore authentic.

Look for the Maker’s Mark

Many antique rocking chairs were made by individual craftsmen. Look for the maker’s mark on the backrest. If the maker’s mark is visible, you can be sure that the chair is an authentic antique.

If the mark is not visible, the chair may be a reproduction. Look for the Hand-Painted Name If the chair’s name is painted in a contrasting color, it is more likely to be an authentic antique.

Look for the Vintage Label

If the label on the chair’s base is hand-painted, it is probably a genuine antique. The label should read “antique.” If the label is machine-made or printed on a plastic tag, it is probably a reproduction.

Confirm the Type of Wood Used

Hand-carved and turned wooden furniture is also usually stamped with the name of the wood used, such as oak, walnut, mahogany, etc.

Check the Upholstery Style for Antique Style

The style of upholstery can also tell you whether the chair is an antique. If the upholstery is soft, plush, or velour, it is probably an antique. If the upholstery is stiff, smooth, or artificial-looking, it is probably not an antique.

Leather chairs are not authentic antiques. If your rocker chair has a leather base, it may be a reproduction. The cushion on the seat of an antique chair is usually soft and plush. If the cushion is flat and hard, it is probably a reproduction.

The Finish tells whether the Rocking Chair is an antique or not

The Rocking Chair’s finish can be polished, buffed, or painted. The exterior surface of antique rockers is normally unfinished. The wood is left with its natural color.

However, you can add a protective coating to the surface with a variety of finishes.

The most popular finish is oil and wax, which is why the exterior surface of antique rockers is usually covered in a light coat of oil and wax. The rockers are also finished with Chinese resin and lacquer.

It is a great addition to your home. It is a piece of furniture that will last for generations. However, it can be a challenge to determine whether a particular chair is an antique.

There are a lot of factors that will influence the value of your antique rocking chair. These include the materials used, the quality of the craftsmanship, the design of the chair, the style of the chair, and the condition of the chair.

These chairs may include decorative curves, exposed carving & cushioned seats. But the price should remain within $600 up to $1800.


If you’re trying to determine whether a rocking chair is an antique, there are a few ways to go about it. One way is to check for the date of manufacture, which can sometimes be found on the chair’s base. This can give you a rough idea of the chair’s age.

Another method is to examine the style of the chair. If the chair has a curved back and arms, it’s more likely to be an antique. This is because older rocking chairs were often designed with these curved features for added comfort.

On the other hand, if the chair has a more square or modern design, it’s more likely to be a newer piece. These are just general guidelines, and there may be exceptions to these rules. To get a more accurate estimate of a chair’s age and value, it’s always a good idea to consult with an expert.


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I am Karen writing this story for you. My specialization is in the principles of biomechanics meant to improve the quality of life in humans. I’ve more than 10 years of experience in the field of workplace productivity. My passion for yoga has influenced me to teach everyone how to sit and select the best chairs for work and recreation. I try to add value to help this project grow services day by day.



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