The two chairs and the table that came with them…well MY two chairs now..strange that in my head i differentiate things that are ‘mine’ from things that were my mothers…the chairs are still sold as a rock though the got a serious amount of use from 1967 until about 15 years ago. So I did a little research..the table has a label from the Tell City Chair Company..started in 1860s, are no longer made and highly collected. . . . in certain circles.
…My biggest problem with that sentence is that it is using the term ‘antiques’ somewhat liberally. Obviously these are reproductions of ACTUAL early American designs, which thanks to Jacqueline Kennedy became all the rage in 1960s homes. Once I started perusing the chair, table and hutch designs I was a little shocked to find that not only did my mother’s house contain these things, but so did all the houses of all my aunts. There must have been a local furniture store that specialized in this particular brand. Where it’s not exactly Early American New England…these pieces with their heavily turned stretchers,though not decorously carved otherwise, look like midwest american pioneer styles…..sadly this is the furniture of my childhood and I’m a little pissed off about it.
I sincerely wish my childhood had been filled with true New England furniture. I would love to have found a few pieces of antique Yankee styled furniture in the basement. But alas, nothing in my family dates before the 1960s, my mother bought all new ‘antique’ reproductions when she married, and that was what we had going forward. I suppose when you come from large families of a dozen or more, there isn’t much worth passing down. The chairs and the table for the most part are probably least like the rest of the Tell City Chair Company line, they look a little more non period specific. So they will be making the trip, though i may paint the table legs white. I don’t think i love any of the designs enough to seek out more pieces, though i have acquired an appreciation for it. As butt ugly as I think most of it is…the stuff is rock solid and i am sure will outlast many original antiques.
Buying furniture with a long life ahead of it is not too big of a concern for me. Sure I’d like to not waste my money, but aside from a few chairs I’m not as destructive as children..or pets. Hardwood furniture is a pretty safe bet for me be it Tell City Maple or flat pack parawood. Unfinished soft pine may be problematic if it is a high use item, but once you throw a paint or poly coat on it, it will get a little dinged up but not destroyed. It’s only when buying actual antiques where I have to consider use and abuse. Without any actual heirs to my pile of crap, it makes no difference if a chair i own is 10 years old or 100 years old, as long as it does its job. This is the kind of stuff that goes through the back of my mind, while other parts of it are pretending to work. I think a little mix and match is in order. If my ass is going on it, it better not be 100 years old, for its sake and mine.