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Galoot & Ephemerist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a J&G Stickley rocker that I picked up a few years ago at Brimfield. Good joints all around but not a lick of film finish left. Has anyone ever re-fumed a piece of oak? If it's not a good way to go, I'll just apply a tinted film finish instead.

Gary
 

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Is this a real George Stickley rocker or a fake and if it's real, is it one from the early 1900's or from late in the 1900's?

I don't know what Brimfield's is, is it some sort of store? I don't think there was any film finish, if by film you mean a topcoat such as varnish or lacquer, on the early L. and J.G. Stickley furniture, but I'd need to check with my brother on that. I don't know about the stuff that was made when the company was restarted.

If this is a piece from the early 1900's, you should have it appraised before doing anything, I don't know if the later stuff is collectible. If it's an early piece and you want to restore it, I'd find a conservator to point me in the right direction.

Fuming with ammonia seems to me a messy and dangerous proposal and maybe best left to those who are experienced in it. There are numerous recipes for recreating the fumed look, and a Googling would provide some good ones I bet.
 

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Galoot & Ephemerist
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is this a real George Stickley rocker or a fake and if it's real, is it one from the early 1900's or from late in the 1900's?

I don't know what Brimfield's is, .....
Three times a year in Brimfield, Massachusetts the entire town turns into a flea market from Tues through Sat. Roughly a mile and a half of the main town road is lined with fields of dealers. Still considered the largest flea market there is and a total circus to attend.

This one appears to match the J&G Stickley Bros model, not the Gustav Stickley model. I would say early 1900's rather than late 1800's. Some J&G Stickley furniture had a shellac finish, sometimes tinted, over a fumed surface. I can detect small spots of the shellac finish in some hidden spots, but all the rest is gone.

I've done a fair amount of conservation work over the years, but never fuming. Typically the fumed furniture I leave alone. This is one of the few that I've seen that is intact and actually in good shape except for the finish. I'm leaning now towards brushing on dilute ammonia in those little chips and spots that show bare non-fumed wood. Then working the entire rocker over with Shellac. I just can't find reliable information on re-fuming. I asked a local shop and they too don't touch re-fuming because you never know what will happen. I'ld have to totally strip the piece first to make sure there is no finish left and I hate strippers.

Plus, it cost $60 and it should be a really comfortable seat when done. If it was original Gustav Stickley, I would be thinking of selling it and buying a new car!

Gary
 

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If it's an original, early George Stickley it might be worth a decent chunk of change too.

My Brother has been an antique dealer for about 15 years and I asked him about it and his thought is that a few years ago a good L&J.G. chair was selling for 500 or so bucks but that the demand was increasing. He said he hasn't had one in awhile, he's more into kitchen equipment now, but would think with the original label a decent one would fetch over $1000 with some styles bringing a lot more. He didn't know about the finishes offhand.

Had it been Brother Gustav, that would have been a quite nice find indeed. My Mother and Grandmother, who have been in the business 20 and 40 years respectively, had a Gustav Stickley lamp a few years ago that I believe they picked up at a Goodwill. That paid my Grandmother's minivan off.

You're right about it being a comfortable chair. I love the Arts and Crafts stuff but the wife doesn't so I'm stuck with furniture from Ashley. One of these days when the kids are grown maybe I can get a room of my own and fill it with Arts and Crafts.
 

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Galoot & Ephemerist
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it's an original, early George Stickley it might be worth a decent chunk of change too.
Sadly, the label is gone. Unless I find one buried in the seat. The real kicker is that when I was in college about 30 years ago, I bought and sold antique furniture for extra cash. No one wanted Arts & Crafts style, so the stuff went cheap. Imagine $25 for a Bros Stickley love seat, rope seat, original finish and label. Sigh. Rockers went for $5-$10.

But then I also wish I had my box of comic books too.

Gary
 
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