Sewing rocker?

kristenkoetjeMarch 25, 2008

I have this sewing rocker from my mother-in-law. She knows nothing about it. It is in wonderful condition. I was wonder what it is worth? Is there an email address I can send a picture to?

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lindac

Try Photobucket and follow their directions for up loading pictures.
If you can't do that, send me a picture and I will post it for you.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 11:57AM
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calliope

Can anyone tell me the difference between a sewing rocker and a lady's rocker, or are they the same thing. My mother has a nice little armless rocker she called a sewing rocker and my old cane seated chair I use at the machine ........well the canes collapsed and needless to say it is not a pretty sight when I am sitting in it and I am two inches lower at the machine. LOL. I plan to use Mama's armless rocker when I sew.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 2:36PM
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lindac

A sweing rocker was called that because it's armless and easy to "pull the thread through" without hitting your hand on the arms. I have one that was always my "knitting rocker". I could sit and knit and converse and not hit the needles on the arms of the chair.
A lady's rocker is the same...bcause who ever heard of a man sewing. I have also heard those little armless rockers called a "nursing chair"...but found it most in convenient for nursing a baby.
Susie...put new cane in your chair....really not much of a trick.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 5:45PM
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daesaflgatorfan

I have a Victorian lady's slipper rocker. It's lower than most rockers, so a lady could easily slip her shoes back on without bending over, and no arms, so voluminous skirts could be shown to their full advantage. Could the below link be similar to what you have? (Mine is upholstered.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Slipper rocker

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 6:17PM
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lindac

That's not what I know a a slipper chair....that's more like a sweing rocker.
Slipper chairs were not rockers, but a small low chair that one sat on to put on one's slippers. Usually upholstered and mostly found in the bedroom.

So many problems happen when someone trying to sell something in the web invents a romanticized term for a piece....and then others who where never acquainted with that item before adopt it.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 7:00PM
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calliope

Linda, would you believe I came upon pounds of various sized caning at Goodwill somebody was getting rid of and paid a whole dollar for it. The caning was wrapped around a tubular wooden seat frame and I've never done it like that before, but I'm sure game to give it a try. It costs an arm and a leg to get caning done here and your chair is gone for months, unless you use those sheets but you can't on this little ladder back chair.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 8:13PM
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justlinda

This is what I call my "rocking chair", but it was my grandmother's originally, and she called it her "nursing rocker". The caned seat was totally gone by the time I got it, and I wasn't too concerned about keeping it original as I'm sure it wasn't worth too much money, so I made myself a wooden seat and reupholstered it with one of her needlepoints she had stitched. In my mind, I'm reminded of where whenever I see it.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 8:40PM
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damascusannie

The things you learn here! I just learned that the low, upholstered, armless Easlake style chair that I have in my bedroom is a slipper chair! Makes perfect sense now--I could never figure out why the seat was so low. It's great for me (5'2") to sit in as I can bend over in it and tie my shoes with no problems. It's a pretty walnut, with burgundy upholstery that I doubt is original. I haven't done a burn test, but I'm reasonably sure it's a synthetic fabric of some sort. Still, it's a good color and in good condition, so I'm not going to change it. The only problem with the chair is that the castors are missing. I keep thinking that I should look for replacements.

Annie

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 8:41PM
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lindac

Get a bottle of glycerine, some golf tees, soak the cane and have at it.
You can probably finish in 2 evenings, depending on the size of the seat.

Here is a link that might be useful: how to cane a seat

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 11:10PM
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calliope

Thanks, I'll save that link, but I bet I'm calling it the wrong thing then. This chair has round wooden rod-type frame The fibre the seat is woven in a pattern and whipped around the rods. It feels like reed or rush in a continuous strand and I have another set of pool room chairs finished off in the same stuff I need to work on.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 1:43AM
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lindac

AAH....that's rush seating....I don't know how to do that...but I have a chair that needs it.
Or maybe it's splint seating...splits of ash or hickory are wet down and woven, wrapped and tied...similar to making a split wood basket.
I had my great grandmother's sewing rocker and had it re seated with split wood, and gave it to my daughter. It has a split rung, mended with wrapped fabric, and I left it and just varnished over it. The man who did the seat told me he would replace that rung while he had the chair. I told him I liked it that way! My great grandmother had made that repair and I wanted it left.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 9:03AM
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carriem25

I inherited a box of "nursing rocker" when my MIL passed away a couple of years ago. It looked like this:

Unpacked, the view was not much better:

One back spindle was broken, and one of the rockers had attempted to be attached by sticking a pencil and copious amounts of glue into the hole. There were at least two colours of paint in evidence. The chair was worthless as it was, so I thought I would try my (strictly amateur) hand at stripping it. It was tedious work and I wasn't thrilled with the results:

A friend gave me the name of a furniture repair man near us, and I asked him if there was any chance the chair could be repaired. He examined the pieces, and assured me he could fix it. He also offered to refinish it for me. I hemmed and hawed for a bit, as the price seemed a little high, but decided to have it done.

I was thrilled with how it turned out:

The chair's only value is sentimental. It is far too short for actual use (I am nearly 5'8" tall and my knees are nearly at my nose when I sit in it, LOL), but it sits in the corner of my bedroom as a gentle reminder of my MIL.

Sorry for stealing your thread kristen. I just wanted to share my pictures :)

Carrie

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 10:55AM
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stocky

Carrie,
Don't know if this will make ya feel any better but if that chair came into my shop we would charge $595 for the job.
Chairs are very labor intensive for what they are. Every spindle is looked at as being 4 sided. Not nearly as easy if it were say a chest of drawers, ie ; lots of flat surfaces.
Stripping (always an upcharge if painted)
All necessary repairs
Sanding
Satin
Finish
hand rub.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 11:37AM
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carriem25

Stocky - that actually makes me feel much better, LOL. My total bill from the furniture repairer was around $265, and that also included repairs to another piece that I had in at the same time.

I doubt the chair would actually fetch $250 as a sale price, which might explain my reluctance. However, I enjoy the finished piece much more than the box of parts that was originally given to me!

Carrie

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 12:18PM
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calliope

It's exquisite. I would not hesitate at paying that price to have it redone and I'm a tightwad.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 1:26PM
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damascusannie

Rush seating is easy to replace, way easier than from scratch woven caning, although more time consuming than using the pre-woven cane that you set with a spline in a groove.. I did an old rocker many years ago and if I hadn't been so cheap and had invested in REAL rush instead of the papery fake stuff, I'm sure it would still be fine. As it was, it lasted about 15 years before we wore through the "rush" on the front rail and it fell apart.

Annie

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 7:11PM
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lindac

Annie...if you mean "rush" like is on Hitchcock chairs....and not "rush" like is on a chair with just dowels on each side of where the seat would go....I want to know where you learned how to do that.
I have a chair that needs re-doing and I can't find anyone that can do it.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 9:09PM
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clink

Linda -- Joanna Schanz in West Amana does it. You can contact her thru Schanz furniture or the Broom and Basket shop.

Cathy

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 7:38AM
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daesaflgatorfan

"Posted by lindac (My Page) on Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 19:00

That's not what I know a a slipper chair....that's more like a sweing rocker.
Slipper chairs were not rockers, but a small low chair that one sat on to put on one's slippers. Usually upholstered and mostly found in the bedroom.
So many problems happen when someone trying to sell something in the web invents a romanticized term for a piece....and then others who where never acquainted with that item before adopt it."

What an interesting, and rude, assumption, LindaC. For the record, the chair was NOT bought off the web. It was purchased at a Pennsylvania auction, almost 20 years ago, by an aunt. According to aunt, the auctioneer described it as a Victorian slipper rocker.

I'd thank you to not respond to my posts, please.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 11:22AM
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lindac

I'm sorry you thought I was addressing you. I was addressing all the descriptions one finds on web sites or auctions selling antique furniture. I consider calling a wooden rocker like that in the link you posted, a "slipper rocker" an example of what I was talking about. Auctioneers are taught to "romance the goods". I have seen my share of turnings described as barley twist, and heard auctioneets call a towel bar a wishbone mirror and new Japanese dishes called Imari to know that you do research to determine what you have. You didn't even post a picture of your chair, did you? And a slipper chair did not have rockers, it would be difficult to put on your shoes sitting in a rocking chair.
I suggest we come here to exchange information and not with a chip on the shoulder.
And for your information, your assumption that I was talking about anything but the picture in the link you posted was off the mark. I might call it rude, but I don't call people names in a forum.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 12:47PM
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damascusannie

Sorry Linda--the chair I did was a simple dowel sided construction. I did a google search and it appears that with a Hitchcock chair, the side pieces have to be taken off before the seat can be rewoven, so it's a fairly labor-intensive project.

Annie

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 1:38PM
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calliope

"Auctioneers are taught to "romance the goods".

Yes, this is typical at many country auctions, even by auctioneers who know better. The regulars knew it was part of the game, but anyone coming in from the city didn't. You either know your stuff coming into an auction or watch your bidding because things may not work, or may be misrepresented 'just a little bit' and once you bought it. You bought it.

I frequented one auctioneer who's helper always picked up any unmarked piece of pottery and said "looks like it could be Weller/Roseville/McCoy". Usually a little voice in the crowd would answer.......and maybe it's not. LOL.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 2:51PM
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lindac

Another one is..."And it's signed!"...and a little voice in the crowd says..."by whom?" LOL!
And a "pettycoat chair"...which had a curved rung between the front legs...and some auctioneers called any chair that didn't have a rung across the front a pettycoat chair....and a "pettycoat mirror" was another misnamed piece. Any tall mirror could be turned on it's side and become a pettycoat mirror...
And the painted furniture that "looks like walnut"...and the black piece of metal that "could be brass"...and the stack of postcards that "could have some old Tucks in there"...etc. etc...auctioneers are a colorful lot!
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 4:20PM
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damascusannie

Around here Red Wing pottery is a big deal, so any unmarked crock "might be Red Wing". With auctions, it's always buyer beware! I watch that big internet auction site (can we say the "E" word here?) for antique sewing machines and you'd REALLY better know your stuff before bidding there! The ignorant and the outright dishonest far out-weigh the knowledgeable and reputable. Ditto for opalescent glass--there's a lot of repro stuff being schlepped as old.

Annie

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 7:53PM
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joyce_6333

Kristen, I purchased a little sewing rocker (or also called a youth rocker) at an antique shop a few years ago. Got it for $50. But when I got it home, I found out it was a "signed" Limbert sewing rocker. I was pretty excited. It is in original condition, with original leather seat, so I couldn't figure out why they sold it so cheap. I found one exactly like it on this website for $395.

Here is a link that might be useful: Limbert Rocker

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 6:09PM
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liz_h

I have a little armless rocker that my 4'11" Mom assumed to be a sewing rocker. That may be the case, or it may be a "youth rocker" It originally belonged to my husband's great-aunt who died as a young girl. In the family it has always been known as "little Alleen's rocker".

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 2:57PM
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jemdandy

Someone mentioned "nursing rocker". It was my thought that a nursing rocker had arms to help mother support the baby. It makes sense that a "sewing rocker" would be armless to allow freedom of movement and less interference with large pieces of frabric.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 4:44AM
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kathleenca

lindac, I am always impressed by your knowledge of not only furniture & antiques, but also your understanding of how & why items were used.

Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 11:33AM
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smartdog1_hotmail_com

I have a short small rocker--was told it is a sewing rocker because it has a small drawer on side under the seat for thread etc. it's a mission style because the slates in the back has crosses cut out. Has leather seat. Very nice. any info?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 4:07PM
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lindac

Post a picture....sounds lovely...I have seen Mission style chairs with the little "work drawer" under the seat.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 5:35PM
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pinegirl

Posted by lindac (My Page) on Tue, Mar 25, 08 at 19:00

"That's not what I know a a slipper chair....that's more like a sweing rocker.
Slipper chairs were not rockers, but a small low chair that one sat on to put on one's slippers. Usually upholstered and mostly found in the bedroom.

So many problems happen when someone trying to sell something in the web invents a romanticized term for a piece....and then others who where never acquainted with that item before adopt it."

Lindac, In early America, low armless rockers were often called "slipper chairs" or "nursing chairs". Using a low rocker with no arms made it easier for a pregnant woman (and an elderly woman with hip, knee, and/or back problems) to bend her leg back to one side and slide her slipper on since it would be difficult for her to bend her knees to put the slippers on from the front. It was low to help them reach, the rockers allowed her to bend forward to slide her toes into the shoe... then rock back to set in the heel. They had wooden seats or cane or rush.

In America, the upholstered chair came much later and was really a "parlor chair" which some used in their bedrooms as slipper chairs so eventually people started calling almost any small chair without arms slipper chairs. After the rocker was invented, many men added their own rockers to regular chairs, making their own "slipper/nursery chairs" and/or "sewing chairs". (even though they are hybrids, they are valuable antiques).

Very early Americans were not known for making comfortable furniture and nothing was upholstered except the bed (stuffed with horse hair, sheep's wool, hay, etc.). They used stools and benches and brought out a pillow for the elderly or lame.

So, an old low, armless, un-upholstered rocker can definitely be called a slipper chair.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 11:09PM
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lindac

And you know all about this because.....?

And Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite and Thomas Sheraton never made upholstered furniture?....nothing upholstered?? Really?
You can call a low armless un-upholstered rocker anything you choose....but most people don't call it a slipper chair.
Wondering what the pillow brought out for the elderly and lame upholstered with?
And can you possibly tell us when the rocker was invented?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 12:08AM
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