Q: I have had this chair for some time. I found it when we were cleaning out my dad's house. I have asked several local appraisers for its history and value but no one has been able to provide any information. A local Civil War appraiser thought it might be from that era and perhaps an officer's chair. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
A: Innovative furniture designs that converted a piece of furniture into another type of furniture became popular in the 1870s and '80s. Your chair looks like a platform rocker because it has rockers on a stationary base, but it reclines almost as flat as a bed. Reclining chairs like yours were originally called "invalid's chairs." Folding chairs and other furniture used by officers during the Civil War are known as "campaign furniture." It's impossible to know if your chair was really used by an officer during the Civil War without provenance (provable history), but it doesn't look like the typical folding furniture used during military campaigns.