Three Prominant New England furniture manufacturers were forced to abort or sell their business this decade. Each were extremely popular and had a large and proud following. In an industry that struggles mightily with branding, these winners had it all: style, quality, and reputation. They were trusted names, and they remain winners on the resale market.
The most obvious example is The Hitchcock Chair Co., which stopped producing furniture in 2006. Hitchcock (manufactured in Riverton, CT) is known for very well built furniture that features colonial styles that were shaped on a maple platform. Hitchcock furniture tends to use a variety of colors. What makes Hitchcock so desiresable, however, is the etching and stenciled artwork bearing the Hitchcock name.
Hitchcock maintains a vibrant existence on the resale market. Hitchcock's product can be found on eBay, Craigs List, furniture auctions and many furniture consignment stores in the New England area. Hitchcock furniture can be found in many New England homes as Hitchcock had a period where it was producing 15,000 chairs a year! The Hitchcock market is thriving, and www.usedhitchcockfurniture.com and www.hitchcockchair.com are excellent resources when determining the value of pre-owned Hitchcock furniture. In the spirit of restoration, some former Hitchcock artisans purchased the original finish recipes and stencils and are able to authentically re-finish Hitchcock Furniture.
Unlike Hitchcock, Nichols & Stone was able to sell its intellectual property to Stickley & Audi in 2008. With all do respect to the Audi family, it is Nichols & Stone's fine past that delights most furniture connoisseurs. Not to say that the new Nichols & Stone doesn't make a fine Windsor chair, but there was a time when obtaining a Nichols & Stone Windsor chair or rocker was an achievement for a working family.
The Nichols & Stone logo on the bottom of a chair or on the inside of a drawer means something. It stands for quality and class. Nichols & Stone was one of the finest furniture manufacturers in the history of the State of Massachusetts.
The third great New England manufacturer to disappear from the furniture manufacturing scene was Moosehead Furniture. Moosehead was Maine's pride and joy and fell victim to the many pressures furniture manufacturers have been subjected to over the last 10 years. Though the fall of Moosehead Furniture leaves many scars behind, a great product forges ahead on the resale market.
An argument could be made that Mooshead Furniture produced some of the finest children's furniture this country has ever seen. What made Moosehead great was the excellent construction, quality, and stock of materials that were used (Give the best ingredients to a great chef and imagine the results!). Such was the case when these great materials were laid in the hands of a craftsman from Monson, Maine. A special product was formed.
Our buyer wish list is cluttered with random requests for pieces that were made by these once great New England furniture makers. Hitchcock, Nichols & Stone, and Moosehead Furniture created great brands and a great following. They all remain winners in the New England furniture resale market.
Jay Frucci is President and Owner of Furniture Consignment Gallery and http://www.furnitureconsignment.com/
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