16 Apr 2021
October 28, 2010 - Filed under: Antique Chairs,Antiques News — Richard

Antiques fans from Preston, with a love for Victorian antique dining chairs in the American Arts and Crafts style, will no doubt be booking New York flights from Manchester airport this week, en route to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This will be their last chance to catch a fabulous touring exhibition of the works of US furniture designer Charles Rohlfs (1853-1936), whose striking Art Nouveau antique dining chairs, desks and cabinets are much in demand at Lancashire auctions.

The exhibition, entitled “The Artistic Furniture of Charles Rohlfs”, is essential viewing for anyone who enjoys Art Nouveau furniture in the style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh . An amalgam of all the Arts and Crafts designers you’ve ever heard of, his work combines elements of Mackintosh, Morris, Talbert and many others – yet stands purely on its own two feet.

Rohlfs striking designs were considered too avante garde for the domestic American market, though they won him membership of the Royal Society of Arts here – and a commission at Buckingham Palace. His narrow, elongated antique dining chairs, with their clean sweeping lines and decorative cut-out backs, are pure Glasgow School, while his solid rustic rocking chairs and antique library cabinet are typical Gothic Reform.

With elaborate filigree carvings in one place, and bold Oriental influences in another, Rohlfs encompassed the spirit of late Victorian artistic design.

You may find Rohlfs antique dining chairs in Lancashire antique dealers, but be prepared to dig deep. The November 2007 edition of the Antiques Roadshow in Philadelphia priced one of his antique chairs at $80,000 to $120,000.

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