Many Victorian dining chairs in Lancashire homes had elegantly upholstered seats and backs. These comfortable pieces of furniture are just as sought after today, although they often have to be reupholstered to make them fit for sale. In Preston, late Victorian dining chairs are more likely to have their original coverings than earlier ones. For example Chippendale Revival pieces of the 1890s, which were often kept “for best” in poorer homes, can still be found in their original condition.
Even if it has been barely used, original upholstery is more likely to show signs of discolouration, fading and fraying than reupholstered furniture. Natural materials like silk have a finite lifespan and have to be treated tenderly to preserve them – heavy-duty cleaning is a no-no – so it’s not unlikely that a set of antique dining chairs in a Lancashire shop window, with impressively fresh-looking seats, have been recovered at some time. Reupholstered furniture can sell for many thousands of pounds if it is of sufficient rarity and quality, so don’t let this deter you from buying, if you are interested in making an investment. The important thing to remember is that reupholstering of antiques must be carried out by someone who not only has the relevant skills, but has an understanding of the methods and materials the original craftsmen would have used.
When buying Victorian dining chairs in Lancashire, responsible antique dealers – for example, those who are members of LAPADA (the internationally-recognised Antique Dealers Association) – will always ensure your invoice carries clear details of any restoration work that has been done.
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