Chicago Antiques Guide

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Adding Chairs To An Existing Dining Room Set

Posted Friday, December 02 by Brian

"I have enjoyed your web site and I hope you can answer a general question regarding furniture that is not Chicago-specific.

"My parents have a dining room set they purchased in 1976 and they'd like to get additional chairs for it that match the set. They had their chairs re-upholstered a while ago, so they don't care about the fabric on the chair cushions, just the wood color and overall condition. I don't have a picture, but my question mainly has to do with how they should go about finding them. I'm wondering how difficult this is - - if it's even possible. I'm thinking just checking Ebay every once in a while won't work.

"Inside the credenza there is a tag: 'R.S. Ras company, fine furniture, Albany, N.Y.' Manufacturer: Henredon, 'Artefacts' Collection. The chairs are solid wood with cane backs and cushioned seats. The wood is pecan in color and slightly distressed with the grain of the wood obvious. We would prefer chairs without arms. We need at least two and could use four.

"Ebay has some Henredon furniture but nothing close to theirs. And searching "antique dining" of course brings up too many results. Should they contact a dealer or somebody with contacts to search for the extra chairs? Or is this probably a lost cause? Thanks a lot - Michael"

I have a lot of "thoughts" on the subject. First, it may not be impossible to find the exact chairs (excluding fabric), but it could take a lot of work, a lot of time, and/or a lot of luck.

A simpler solution would be to get four chairs that match each other and coordinate well with the existing set. Decorators do this all of the time. When at the table, you set them up alternating chairs. It takes a bit of decorating sense to figure out what works, but it could be done more quickly.
If your Mom has her heart set on the same chairs, there are ways of minimizing the effort on Ebay. If you search for "Henredon dining chairs", you can save the search after the results come up, and have Ebay email you anytime more Henredon dining chairs come up.

You could of course also check estate sales, used furniture stores and thrift shops. A problem could arise even if you find them. The owner may want to sell only the whole set. The good news here is that 70's dining room sets don't sell for a lot of money. You could probably get the whole set for $1,200 or less, which is the same or less than buying 4 new chairs.

Unless you get very lucky it could take years to get the same chairs. I personally would recommend the "coordinating" approach.

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