crossorigin="anonymous"> How To Identify Tell City Furniture

How To Identify Tell City Furniture | History

How To Identify Tell City Furniture

Although the company is no longer operational, its antique and vintage pieces continue to be highly desirable for both antique collectors and homeowners alike. Figuring out Tell City Furniture is like solving an intriguing puzzle in American craftsmanship. The Tell City Furniture Company, then called the Tell City Chair Company, was founded in 1865 in Tell City, Indiana.

Whether you are searching through antique shops or trying to determine if the furniture in your own home may be an original creation from this brand, we’ll show you how to identify authentic pieces made by Tell City Furniture.

This guide offers simple ways “How To Identify Tell City Furniture.” So, let’s explore what sets these items apart by taking a look at their history and characteristics that make them so special.

Tips To Identify Tell City Furniture

Here are some straightforward tips to identify Tell City Furniture.

These easy-to-follow pointers will guide you to “how to Identify Tell City Furniture.”

Let’s delve into the details.

1. Check for Labels & Stamps

One of the easiest ways to recognize Tell City Furniture is by looking for labels or stamps.

These usually contain the brand name and are often found on the bottom or back of the pieces.

Sometimes, these markings could be removed, but if you see any reference to “Tell City Chair Company”, it’s likely an authentic piece.

How To Identify Tell City Furniture

2. Observe the Woodwork

The craftsmanship of Tell City Furniture is seen in the high-quality woodwork.

In particular, maple wood was used for their pieces, famous for its durability and unique patterns.

Look for signs of solid construction, smooth finish, and detailed carvings.

Furthermore, their designs often reflect traditional American styles, with elements of colonial, country, and shaker seen in various lines.

3. Consider the Design

Tell City Furniture pieces are known for their timeless designs. Each creation expresses a classic appeal that blends seamlessly with various interiors.

Look for hints of Andover, Duncan Phyfe, or Hard Rock style designs, which are characteristics of the brands.

4. Look for the Catalog Number

Tell City Furniture often stamped a catalog number on their pieces.

This number can help you learn more about the item’s history and design.

Search for this number on the furniture, usually found on the underside or back.

If you find it, you can cross-reference it with Tell City Furniture catalogs.

So, do keep an eye out for these numbers; they could be your direct ticket to identifying a genuine piece of Tell City Furniture.

5. Pay Attention to the Finish

Tell City Furniture is famous for its unique and durable finishes.

Such finishes enhance the natural beauty of the wood and offer an antique appeal.

The finish is usually smooth and glossy, with a rich, deep color.

If you notice these features, it likely points to an all-city creation.

6. Evaluate the Age

Evaluating the age of the furniture is a key step in the identification process.

Tell City Furniture was in production mainly from 1865 to 1992.

Common signs of age include wear on the furniture’s edges, faded finish, and old-style construction techniques.

If these signs are present, your furniture piece is a hidden gem from the Tell City Furniture collection.

7. Study the Hardware

The hardware on Tell City Furniture is another clue to its authenticity.

Genuine pieces often feature period-appropriate hardware, such as brass or wooden knobs and handles.

If the hardware appears original and has an old-world charm, it may be a Tell City piece.

This is another part of the puzzle that can help you correctly identify your furniture as a true Tell City creation.

How To Identify Tell City Furniture

8. Seek Expert Opinion

If you still need to try these steps, it can be beneficial to seek an expert’s opinion.

Antique dealers, appraisers, or experienced collectors could provide valuable insights.

They can examine the furniture’s details and confirm if it’s genuine Tell City Furniture.

If you’re still in doubt, don’t hesitate to seek help from those who have a deep understanding of these unique pieces.

9. Compare with Known Pieces

One of the best ways to confirm if you have Tell City Furniture is to compare it with known pieces from the brand.

Look at pictures of verified items online or in catalogs.

Check the design, woodwork, finish, and hardware.

If they match, you might have found a real Tell City piece.

But remember, these methods are not foolproof.

It’s always good to consult experts if you need more clarification. This way, you can be certain about your furniture’s authenticity.

10. Trust Your Instincts

Finally, trust your instincts.

With time and experience, you will develop an intuitive sense for distinguishing genuine pieces from reproductions.

If a piece of furniture feels high-quality, shows signs of age, and matches the Tell City style, it’s quite likely an original.

However, always make sure to confirm your suspicions with research and expert advice.


In conclusion, identifying Tell City Furniture can be a fascinating journey into the world of classic American craftsmanship. The features of Tell City Furniture, such as labels, woodwork, timeless designs, catalog numbers, finishes, and hardware, all hold clues to its authenticity. These signs, coupled with expert opinion, comparison with known pieces, and trusting your instincts, can lead you to the exciting discovery of owning a piece of this beloved brand. This guide, “How to Identify Tell City Furniture,” has been your trusty companion on this journey. Each piece of furniture has a story to tell, and identifying them correctly allows those stories to continue. Remember always to trust you’re instincts and enjoy the process of discovery. Happy hunting!


How do you identify Tell City furniture?

Identifying Tell City furniture involves checking labels or stamps, observing the woodwork, considering the design, and looking for catalog numbers. You should also pay attention to the finish, evaluate the furniture’s age, and study the hardware. If you still need to figure it out, you can seek expert advice. Comparing known pieces and trusting your instincts can also help.

What type of wood is typically used in Tell City Furniture?

Tell City Furniture is typically made from maple wood. Maple is known for its strong, durable quality and unique patterns. This wood type gives the furniture a smooth finish and a solid construction. It’s a key feature that helps in identifying genuine pieces from the Tell City Furniture collection.

How do I know if my furniture is valuable?

To know if your furniture is valuable, check for signs of quality craftsmanship, such as solid wood, detailed carvings, or unique finishes. Also, look for brand labels or maker’s marks. Older pieces in good condition may be more valuable. Additionally, rare designs or pieces from well-known makers can also increase value. Consulting an expert or antique dealer can provide more insights into your furniture’s worth.

How can you tell if furniture is real?

To tell if furniture is real, check for signs of good craftsmanship, like solid wood, decent finishes, and sturdy construction. Look for brand labels or marks from the maker. Older pieces in good shape might be more valuable. Also, rare designs or items from famous makers can increase their worth. If you still need to decide, consult an expert or antique dealer. They can give more insights into your furniture’s authenticity.

What are some fun facts about Tell City?

Tell City Furniture is known for its impressive, high-quality craftsmanship. The company started in 1865 in Tell City, Indiana, and made furniture until 1992. They mainly used maple wood, which is strong and gives a smooth finish. This furniture is unique, with classy designs and great finishes, making each piece special. They’re truly a treasure to find!

Who are some reliable experts I can consult to confirm if my furniture is a genuine Tell City piece?

Several reliable experts can help identify if your furniture is a genuine Tell City piece. These include antique dealers, professional appraisers, and experienced furniture collectors. They have the knowledge and expertise to confirm the authenticity based on various features and characteristics of your furniture.

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