1800 choir bench from CL

MFatt16May 3, 2013

I bought this bench because I like it for the entry way in my new home I am building. The seller listed it as a choir bench but didn't mention how old it was until I picked it up. I am not an antiques enthusiast per se but I do love them when I come across the right things. No stamps or markings of any kind on this thing but here it is:


Any ideas if it is truly a choir bench or from the late 1800's?

The back is also finished in the same style and the panels are double sided, slatted wood floor inside the bench that opens. Thanks!

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It looks like a Mexican-made bench from quite recently.

The wood looks like Mexican pine
The construction of the panels looks edge-glued and routed, not tongue and grooved boards

great entry bench, but not choir bench or antique.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 6:01PM
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I am pretty sure its oak with fir on the rounded parts like the top rail of the bench. (wood supplier checked it out while dropping off flooring samples) No glue either. One of the panels on the back is a bit loose and their is no glue but you can slide it a tad and see around it sort of. No nails either. I hadn't researched it being recent from Mexico. Perhaps I will have luck looking in that direction.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:21PM
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That wood does not look anything like oak IMO. Plus if it was an old bench I do not believe they would have used the knotty bits you can see in the back panel. We have an old house with all pine doors, some original and some new- you can easily tell which are which as the old ones are knot-free while the newer ones have quite a few knots.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 11:39PM
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I do see oak grain, especially at the back of the seat.

This is not a typical choir bench; I would call it a settle, and it's fairly typical of the form. Settles been around for several hundred years.

Is it old? It's hard to tell from the photos. To me, on my monitor, it looks like a piece that someone painted, then later stripped with a harsh stripper. Fir is not a typical wood in old pieces -- are you sure that's what the second wood is? Knots don't bother me; I have a couple of 300 y.o. oak coffers that have knots. Knots in a more recent piece could be the sign of a local cabinetmaker rather than a fine furniture maker.

Could you give us close-ups of the wood, the joints, the innards, the back?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 9:07AM
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I am not sure of the wood. I had some flooring samples delivered to the garage and the guy looked it over and said oak and fir. I didn't really ask any further.

I will get some more pictures and over the weekend. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 9:16AM
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