From the Worthologists’ Files: Limbert Arts & Crafts Morris Chair
One of the advantages of being an appraiser is the sheer volume of incredible things one comes across on a weekly basis. Not all are hugely valuable, antique, rare or even all that sought after. Many times their value is only sentimental, but they often come with priceless provenances. Our Worthologist file cabinet is a treasure chest of such items– appraisal requests from our clients ranging from stuffed aardvarks to folk art zithers, all of which I’ll cover here in this column.
This particular Morris chair is in the Mission Style and is a model #841, made by the Limbert company circa 1906-15.
The owners of this piece informed us “This piece had been left in the drive shed of a farm house we purchased a number of years ago and had been left there until we decided to tear the building down. Since that time it’s been kept in the garage and we’ve been wondering if it was worth fixing or to donate it to Goodwill”
My answer would be to keep, it if you like the style and you are willing to clean it up. Based on the images and type of the marking, your Morris chair is in the Mission Style and is a Model #841, and was made by the Limbert company circa 1906-15. Limbert was founded by Charles Limbert in 1894, but did not begin production of Arts & Crafts Mission Style inspired pieces until 1902, when Limbert introduced its “Dutch Arts and Crafts” line. It was similar to other American Mission and Arts & Crafts lines, but the original influence was Dutch peasant furniture, rather than the more common old Spanish California Missions pieces.
The Limbert mark.
Limbert continued to produce their Arts & Crafts line until about 1918. Limbert was just one of many companies producing furniture in the Mission and Arts & Crafts style Circa 1900-18. Oak was the favored wood type used, stained a dark brown using ammonia gas. Ammonia reacted with the natural tannin’s in oak causing a mellow all over tobacco brown color, the color itself being in the wood rather than on it.
Values for Mission pieces depend a great deal on the maker and rarity of the type, with pieces by Gustave Stickely, generally credited with being the leading proponent of the design, being the most sought after of the production pieces. The style remained popular into World War One (1914-18), but was rapidly falling from favor by 1916.
In the current market according to Worthpoint’s Worthopedia , shown here and here, comparable Morris Recliners by Limbert’s company tend to sell in the $1000.00 $2500.00 range, the Model #841 being toward the top of this range.
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