What are the Different Antique Chair Styles?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
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  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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An antique is often described as being 100 years old or older, though definitions may vary. All antique chair styles will therefore be quite old, but this does not necessarily translate into uncomfortable or useless. Some of the most common antique chair styles include rocking chairs, chaise longues, corner chairs, ribbon back chairs, writing arm chairs, and school chairs. Many other antique chair styles exist, and each one has a defining set of characteristics that will be important to identify and examine before purchasing one. It may help to consult an antiques dealer to help identify a chair properly.

The rocking chair is perhaps one of the most sought-after antique chair styles. These chairs feature curved feet known as rockers that allow a person to rock back and forth when sitting in the chair. The particular designs vary according to the time period in which the chair was built as well as the craftsmanship of the builder. Rocking chairs are still extremely popular, so it may be difficult to distinguish between a modern chair and an antique.

A chaise longue is actually a type of day bed. This piece of furniture features a very long seat on which a person can extend his or her legs to lay down comfortably. These day beds sometimes featured a seat back as well as a seat side in addition to the elongated seat, and these chairs were most often upholstered with soft cushioning to improve the comfort of the chair.


One of the less common antique chair styles is the corner chair, designed to fit into the corner of a room. The chair back was therefore a ninety degree angle, and the seat back was sometimes curved to improve comfort. They were designed to save space in small houses, and they were not often very ornate, though the front leg was sometimes carved for aesthetic appeal.

Writing arm chairs are chairs designed with a wide panel built into the arm to accommodate writing. The panel was almost always built on the right side of the chair, as most people were right-handed and being left-handed was frowned upon. The chair's design very often mimicked the look of a Windsor chair, and the writing panel could sometimes be removed from the rest of the chair when not in use. Other versions featured a fixed writing panel.


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