Victorian Chair Has Rocked Four Generations

By Anne McCollam

February 15, 2019 4 min read

Q: I have enclosed a photo of an antique rocking chair that has been passed down in my family for at least four generations. It was originally purchased in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1865. The frame is mahogany and has the original finish. It has been reupholstered in red velvet, is 34 inches tall and is in excellent condition. The top rail is decorated with carved leaves and fruit.

I am not interested is selling my rocker but would like to know its approximate value.

A: The curved top rail with the carved crest; upholstered open arms; flat front legs; and canted, square back legs are typical of Victorian furniture made between 1860 and 1875. Rocking chairs made in the mid-1800s were made of mahogany, black walnut or rosewood. They had top rails that were finger-carved or had carved crests decorated with fruit or flower motifs with leafage.

The value of your Victorian rocking chair would probably be $250 to $350.

Q: This mark is on the bottom a set of four porcelain cups and saucers that I have. My aunt gave them to me 10 years ago. She has since passed away, and I regret never asking her about the set. Each piece is decorated with pink, yellow and blue petite flowers against a light-blue background. The handles and the edges are trimmed in gold. My aunt only used them on special occasions, and they are in mint condition.

I treasure my set and would never part with it but would like to know its vintage, who made it and its value.

A: You have a set of chintzware, and the pattern is "Melody." It was made by Shelley Potteries Ltd. in Longton, Staffordshire, England. The company was founded in 1925. Chintzware is the name of earthenware, porcelain or bone china that was decorated with pastel flowers against blue or green backgrounds. There was a large variety of patterns inspired by English gardens and chintz fabric patterns. Several other English factories also produced the popular chintz patterns. Shelley Ltd. was taken over by Doulton & Co. in 1971. Chintzware continues to be popular with collectors.

Your set of six cups and saucers was made around 1950 and would probably be worth $250 to $450.

(SET CAPTION) Rocking chair was made in the Victorian era. (END CATPION)
 Chintzware was made by Shelley Potteries Ltd.
Chintzware was made by Shelley Potteries Ltd.

Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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