1890s Victorian Wicker Chair in Excellent Natural Condition

by John Werry on February 2, 2008

Victorian wicker chair 762911 1890s Victorian Wicker Chair in Excellent Natural ConditionI’m also a fan of Victorian wicker and own a nice Heywood-Wakefield chair in natural finish and two huge “peacock” painted wicker chairs that I keep out on the front porch. I like having variety in my antique collection and decorative wicker is oftentimes a niche that people don’t explore or avoid altogether. Wicker gets a bad rap due to what has been made in the last 20-30 years, but the product from the Victorian era is a different animal altogether. It’s hard, however, to find pieces in good condition.

This chair above is currently for sale on Ebay starting at $450 and is located in Daytona, FL. What’s amazing is the condition of this piece, down to the original label underneath: “W. F. Whitney & Co. South Ashburnham Mass.” The seat caning is not broken through as many of these are. Certainly a nice example. Bidding ends February 3rd.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathryn Peters February 2, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Hi John,

Yes that is a lovely example of a Victorian wicker chair, however most likely the cane seat was replaced at some time. Chairs of this era normally had a close-woven cane seat insert instead of the open weave octagon pattern sheet cane that is in there now.

The theory was that the close-woven cane (without holes), did not detract from the fancy beadwork, scroll work and other embellishments as does the open weave cane seat.

This style was a very popular one and I’ve restored many of this same design and pattern over the years. It’s also listed in the Heywood-Brothers & Wakefield Company Classic Wicker Furniture calalog from 1898 that Dover published in 1982. It has a new introduction by Richard Saunders, by the way. Excellent resource book!

The Wicker Woman-Cathryn Peters-Angora, MN
http://www.WickerWoman.com
http://wickerwoman.blogspot.com

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John W February 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Thanks Cathryn. Yes it is on page 34 of the book (which is now added to my reference books page

Why would it have a label from another manufacturer? My understanding is that Whitney did indeed manufacture and not just retail but not sure.

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The Wicker Woman-Cathryn Peters October 25, 2008 at 10:09 am

John,

If this Victorian reed wicker chair has the Whitney label on it, then they did in fact make the chair. That label is the original manufacturer’s label and is an excellent way to determine the maker and to set the era or circa it was produced in. It’s not easy to make the switch and highly discouraged for manufacturer’s labels to appear on anything but the original piece.

But, that style of wicker chair as with so many others, was very popular and produced by many, many different manufacturing companies for long spans of time. Heywood, Wakefield, Whitney, even Sears were just a few companies producing Victorian style wicker furniture in the late 1880s and on into the 1920s.

The Wicker Woman-Cathryn Peters
http://www.WickerWoman.com
http://wickerwoman.blogspot.com

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allen stone September 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Hi Cathryn!
I just purchased an old wicker rocker and the sticker says W.F.Whitney
& Co S. Ashburnham Mass. It does have a closed cane seat.Also about 9″ of the arms has cloth .Can you tell me anything about this rocker year or maybe close
value.I also live in florida
thanks

Reply

John Werry September 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Sorry, cannot. Not familiar with them.

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