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Antique Wooden High Chair: Discovering the History and Value

CEO Khai Intela
Are you a fan of antique furniture? In today's modern era, many people are drawn to the charm and character of antique pieces. And when it comes to high chairs, the same holds true. Antique...

Are you a fan of antique furniture? In today's modern era, many people are drawn to the charm and character of antique pieces. And when it comes to high chairs, the same holds true. Antique high chairs have a rich history and are highly valued by collectors and enthusiasts.

Unveiling the History of Antique Wooden High Chairs

Before plastic high chairs dominated the market, wooden high chairs were the go-to choice for parents. The mass production of high chairs began in the 1950s, leading to the decline of wooden chairs. However, the charm and durability of antique wooden high chairs still hold a special place in our hearts.

Wooden high chairs have been around for centuries, with styles evolving to meet the changing preferences of parents. The earliest known high chairs date back to the late nineteenth century, but wooden high chairs from the 18th century and earlier show that craftsmanship was already being dedicated to creating special seating for the younger generation.

Child’s high chair ca. 1660

Child’s high chair ca. 1660

Why Do We Call It a High Chair?

The name "high chair" comes from the fact that it is a taller version of a standard chair. If a chair doesn't have a tray attached, it is referred to as a junior chair. The purpose of a high chair is to elevate babies to table height, allowing them to join in the activities and making it easier for parents to feed them.

Retro wooden higher chair against a beige wall

The Antique High Chair With Wheels And Other Unique Features

Antique wooden high chairs offer more than just a place for babies to sit and eat. They were designed with various innovative features to make life easier for both parents and children. Some notable features include:

  • Movable chairs on wheels for easy mobility between rooms.
  • Large seats resembling cupboards with storage space underneath.
  • Baby high chair rockers to help relax children to sleep after meals.
  • Foldable high chairs for convenient storage.

These features make antique wooden high chairs far more advanced than their modern counterparts. They were not only practical but also pieces of art with intricate carvings and handcrafted details.

Antique Wooden High Chairs From Different Eras

The design of antique wooden high chairs has evolved over time. From the 1920s to the 1950s, wooden high chairs reached their peak in popularity. The chairs became more subdued, with simpler designs, plain wooden frames, trays, and footrests.

In the 1970s, Scandinavian classic high chair designs revolutionized the game and inspired modern manufacturers. These chairs featured minimalist and functional designs, with adjustable heights, trays, seats, restraints, and footrests. Scandinavian style and old wood benches still appeal to millennial parents who prefer natural, safe materials for their children.

Where To Find Antique Wooden High Chairs?

If you're interested in purchasing an antique wooden high chair, there are several places to look:

  • eBay: You can find antique high chairs from different eras on eBay. Make sure to check the condition, delivery options, and any extra charges before making a purchase.

  • RubyLane: RubyLane is a great online store to find a variety of old furniture, including high chairs. Sellers on this platform are knowledgeable about the condition and history of the items they sell.

  • Etsy: Etsy is a popular marketplace for craftsmen and antique enthusiasts. You can find a decent selection of wooden high chairs of various ages. Keep checking back as the inventory is regularly updated.

  • Craigslist: If you prefer local options, Craigslist is a good source for antique high chairs. Browse through classified ads in your area, and don't forget to check for detailed pictures and descriptions.

Tips for Buying Antique Wooden High Chairs

When purchasing an antique wooden high chair, there are a few things to consider:

  • Sturdiness: Look for high chairs made of sturdy materials that provide stability, ensuring your baby's safety.

  • Safety: Check for a crotch post and a five-point harness safety restraint to keep your child secure. The high chair tray should be secure and lockable.

  • Certified: Look for high chairs that meet safety standards and have appropriate certifications. This ensures that the baby furniture is made with stringent quality control.

  • Design and Style: Choose a design that suits your preferences and complements your home decor. Wooden high chairs come in various forms and patterns, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your style.

  • Portability: Consider the ease of moving the high chair from one place to another. Chairs with integrated wheels can be convenient, but make sure they have secure locking mechanisms.

  • Cleaning Ease: Opt for a wooden high chair that is easy to clean. Look for removable trays and washable seat coverings.

The Value of Antique Wooden High Chairs

The pricing of antique wooden high chairs varies greatly depending on factors such as condition and unique features. Prices can range from $50 to over $500. To determine the value of a specific high chair, it's best to compare it to recent sales of similar designs.

Antique wooden armchair covered with leather

Identifying Different Types of Antique Wooden Chairs

While getting your furniture appraised is the most accurate way to determine its historical significance, there are a few features you can look for on your own:

  • Flaws: Genuine antique furniture often has imperfections due to the handmade craftsmanship. Look for signs of sanding marks, scratches, and other characteristics that suggest authenticity.

  • Maker's Markings: Check for any markings or labels underneath the furniture. Pieces made by specific furniture makers and craftsmen hold more value than those influenced by their style.

  • Joinery: The method of joining pieces of furniture together has changed over time. Pay attention to the type of joints used, such as hand-cut dovetail joints or machine-made joints.

By considering these factors, you can improve your ability to identify genuine antique wooden chairs.

In Conclusion

Antique wooden high chairs offer a unique glimpse into the past. They are not only functional but also serve as decorative pieces with historical significance. Whether you're a collector or a parent looking for a charming addition to your home, antique high chairs are worth exploring.

So, go ahead and start your search for the perfect antique wooden high chair. You'll find an array of styles, designs, and eras to choose from. Embrace the nostalgia and create a beautiful connection between the past and the present in your home.