Rocking chairs provide a soothing and relaxing seating option for any space be it a living room, nursery, or front porch. The gentle motion of these chairs can be one of the most relaxing experiences in life. These chairs are synonymous with sleeping babies, an essential piece of furniture in any nursery or young child's bedroom. Additionally, they evoke images of cozy reading rooms, living rooms, and relaxing verandas. There is nothing like the comfort of a rocking chair to add to your front porch or outdoor patio area. At Bidsquare’s online auction, you'll find a great variety of options, including classic vintage rocking chairs to sleek, modern pieces. A variety of materials are available, including solid wood, wicker, and poly in a range of styles.
The three types of rocking chairs most commonly seen are rockers, gliders, and platform rockers. Rockers are traditional rocking chairs that have two feet and are made from wood that is curved in the length. It is only at these two curved points of the rocker that its feet touch the ground. Since that design, they have evolved in terms of both design and aesthetics. A bentwood rocker, for example, is a delightful example of impeccable craftsmanship and a very appealing design.
An integral feature of platform rockers is their spring-loaded bases. In this chair, the rocking motion is controlled by springs mounted on the base. In spite of the popularity of these rockers, they were never able to completely replace the original rockers. In addition to having a platform design, a number of modern rocking chairs also feature a reclining position and an extendable footrest from the chair’s interior. While in use, they provide a stable base so the chair won't shift.
Rocking Chair - A Brief History
In spite of its longstanding association with a slow-paced, relaxing, and soothing space, the rocking chair has its own unique design history that is exciting and interesting. It is interesting to see how these chairs evolve over time, from early examples, such as antique wicker rockers famous for their craftsmanship, through mid century modern rockers that were made from beautiful woods and innovative plastics to postmodern rockers characterized by experimental and eye-catching designs.
The use of rocking chairs dates back to the 1700s. It was basically a jury-rigged chair with an attached rocker that was fairly popular in North America during the early 18th century. As early as 1725, these chairs had spread to England, and wicker rocking chairs soon became a mainstay of most homes in the United States and England. Michael Thonet, who invented bentwood furniture nearly a century later, was an iconic German-Austrian cabinetmaker who designed art nouveau-style rocking chairs with elaborate curved frames. The bentwood rocking chair was popular for its elegance, beauty, and lightweight. Traditional chairs with spindle backs and Windsor-style seating are available, whether they're antiques made from solid wood or classics by designers such as Hans Wegner and Ole Wanscher.
The rocking chair underwent many innovations during the 1900s. Due to their simplicity and functionality, folding chairs were quickly gaining popularity; families could use them on picnics and road trips without much hassle. A lot of chairs in the 1970s had such a laid-back style that they were almost horizontal in appearance. Designer rocking chairs are becoming increasingly common in homes today.
Antique Rocking Chairs
The value of an antique piece is influenced by factors such as the period, the style, the manufacturer, and the overall condition of the chair. In the 1800s and 1900s, chairs of the following styles were at their peak of popularity.
Most furniture from this period is ornate and iconic, including Victorian rocking chairs. The majority of chairs feature decorative curves, exposed wood carvings, and padded seats. Typical materials for Victorian furniture included rosewood, walnut, and mahogany.
Arts and Crafts Era
In this era, rocking chairs feature wood materials, simple designs, and superb craftsmanship.
Typically American and Canadian in design, rustic variants of these chairs have curved backs and arms. Green branches were shaped and dried into the design of antique Adirondack rocking chairs.
Quick Facts about Rocking Chairs
In the early 13th century, chaere was used to describe a seat, and that came from Old French chaiere, and from Latin cathedra (“seat”).
Despite folklore, it has not yet been proven that Benjamin Franklin invented the rocking chair.