We were at an estate sale recently and came across a cache of chairs, all which were labeled as Hitchcock. The great things is, the Attic Birds travel with a resident Hitchcock expert! Emily has done a lot of research on Hitchcock chairs, so I knew I could count on her to confirm or deny their authenticity. Here’s what she had to say:
The pinstripe around the stencil should be yellow orcher not gold. It is difficult to tell because the paint is faded.
You can tell the fruit and leaves were stenciled and not hand-painted by how everything is uniform. This stenciling is consistent with a real Hitchcock.
It is a good sign that the bands are only painted half-way around the legs. Hitchcock chairs did not go all the way around. The paint should be gold not yellow like the pinstripe. Again the fading due to age makes it difficult to tell for sure.
One of the easiest ways to identify a real Hitchcock is to find the manufacturer’s stamp on the back of the seat. However, not having a stamp does not mean this chair is not a real Hitchcock, the company did not start stamping chairs until 1825 (5 years after the beginning of production).
If this chair is a real Hitchcock, then it definitely was before the company started stamping each chair. All in all, this chair was at a reputable antique dealer’s estate sale so I would take his word that it was a real Hitchcock chair and not Hitchcock-style. I’m not going to lie, I get a little excited when we walk into a sale that has chairs resembling a Hitchcock chair, it is like a game to figure out if it is real or a replica!
~Emily & Lainey