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Fainting Couch - From what era

Posted by antiquesilver (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 29, 12 at 0:12

A friend's neighbor was selling this & I couldn't pass it up even though I'm not a big fan of oak. She'd had it reupholstered at some point & it's in excellent condition; the wood has been cleaned & probably re-shellaced but I'm not positive it was stripped. If so, it was a high quality job.

My question is: approximately when was it made? I like the clean lines instead of Victorian ornate but I don't see this as Arts & Crafts either. Something blending A/C & Nouveau? 1900 or earlier? Or am I way off & it's from the 1920's? I've looked through hundreds of photos on the internet & haven't come up with even one that had similar feet &/or decoration. What say you furniture experts?
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fainting Couch - From what era

I am guessing 1880's...mainly from the tiger oak. But that heavy foot sure could be from 1900 to 1910.
My great grandmother had one that in my memory was it's twin....or at least a sister!
Niiiice!...Glad you are giving it a home.
Linda C


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RE: Fainting Couch - From what era

I'm leaning toward the first decade of 1900s. The style just resonates the type of furniture popular in the years around 1910 when the heaviness remains, but the ornate flourishes started to disappear.


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RE: Fainting Couch - From what era

It's funny how looking at a photo shows things that aren't obvious IRL. The foot under the 'columnm' isn't aligned properly & must have been re-attached at some point. It's hard to see in the picture but the top of the foot is convex & should be centered to match the bulbous profile of the column; the other side is correct. I have 2 places where I might put the piece & they'll both hide the flaw - the next owner can worry about fixng it! For $150, I'm still satisfied.

I'm inclined to go with the 1900-1910 period as well but I tend to think of the big-foot pieces as usually mahogany (or stained to appear as such) & oak pieces being extemely linear & chunky. To me, this couch has a certain grace (maybe with the slightest nod to Nouveau) that isn't typical of either of those descriptions & that's why I question my dating. Plus I've never particularly cared for A/C architecture or furniture so I'm not fluent in the nuances of the style.

Another thing that speaks to me of 1910-15 is the bulbous column. Squat, oversized, milk bottle shaped columns like that are sometimes seen on bungalows but I haven't researched at what point they were popular.


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RE: Fainting Couch - From what era

They are calling the one in the link 1885....but who knows for sure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fainting couch


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RE: Fainting Couch - From what era

Yes, it's anybody's guess, but the date your link called out was not 1885, but 1895. It's really more of an early 20th century and typical Edwardian style and that era with the switch to oak and a good case of the 'clunkies' lasted to amost 1920.


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RE: Fainting Couch - From what era

Good eye, Linda, to catch the feet. Definite similarity of shape - but the decoration looks like they used extra feet they had lying around! I would have passed on that one. And I agree that it's anybody's guess as to being from 1895.


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RE: Fainting Couch - From what era

It looks art nouveau to me, and the pleats in the upholstery add to that charming effect. The feet do have me a bit stumped. And only $150! I think I'm going to faint! LOL. I'd sure find a place in my home for that.


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RE: Fainting Couch - From what era

I know that on oak pianos, the dark-filler in the grain and the lighter quartersawn rays became the style right around 1898; before that year the grain filler was light colored, and the grain was not heavily-emphasized. So assuming that pianos followed furniture styles, which they did in many cases, I'd guess no earlier than 1897-8.
And style-wise, I see indications of "pillar and scroll" style, which was an offshoot of the earlier Empire.
Casey


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RE: Fainting Couch - From what era

I still haven't found any conclusive evidence of a time frame but this plainer version is on ebay with same feet & a rounded (?) column for decoration. The description says 1890's but I doubt there's meanful research behind it.

Judging by the scarcity, this particular form of fainting couch wasn't popular or didn't stay in vogue long - or maybe the manufacturer just went out of business. Certainly not as abundant as Eastlake or some of the other styles that are plentiful on ebay.

Here is a link that might be useful: A cousin


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