Chicago Antiques Guide

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Covertible Daybed - Fit for the Everleigh Sisters

Posted Thursday, March 16 by Brian

Convertible Daybed.jpg I recently went to an auction for a company that had filed bankruptcy. Any way - this pc. was pulled out of a back room - and I could'nt resist. I have done a little research - It was produced (I think before 1930 - before Seng merged w/another company in Chicago) maybe around 1926, from the catalogs I found online. But, I am not sure what they call it... its in great condition for its age...It has a back pc that you remove, and to levers on each end, and you undo those and it folds out to a bed.. all org springs and mattress... All that it is marked with is "26 Seng Chicago". I would like to resell it - but haven't a clue on the value - or where to start. I appreciate any help! Kathy

Convertible Daybed Open.jpgI would call it a "convertible daybed". Pieces like this, with a headrest at one end, were called daybeds. My grandmother had one in her kitchen, so that she could rest, occasionally, during all of the chores. She not only cooked in the kitchen, she had a treadle sewing machine in there too. The wringer washer was at the bottom of the basement stairs. The fact that this one also "converts" into a bed when unfolded gives rise to the name "convertible daybed". I would say it is probably from the 1900-1920 time frame, based on the style.

It appears to have been "redone", maybe in the 1970's. The wood looks like it has been "antiqued" and the upholstery replaced with that red velvet. It looks like it was straight out of, or destined for, a brothel.

It appears that it may be oak under the paint. That would be consistant with the time period and style. Most people who would want to put it in their home (not brothel), would probably strip off the paint, refinish the wood, and recover it with something more appropriate. Because those tasks are expensive to have done, it will likely limit what you can get for it. It's really hard to tell, but selling it "as is", I would expect to get in the $250 to $350 range for it, if it were mine. If you find the right person (especially if they can do the work themselves), you might do a little better.

If you can refinish the wood yourself, that might pay off. But I would not reupholster it. No matter what material you pick, people looking at it will want something different.

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