Blog

AUG
11
2015

Murphy Chair Company

By mwilcox

Cockchair

This "Cock Fighting" chair is not as old as it looks, it appears older because it is patterned after 18th Century English Georgian examples. This one actually dates from the first quarter of the 20th Century. It was made by the Murphy Chair Company.  The Murphy company formed when the company C. H. Dunks of Detroit, was bought up by Michael Murphy, a Canadian, in 1872. C.H. Dunks had originally been a mattress manufacturer, the company relocated to Owensborough, Kentucky, in 1919. From it's beginnings as a small shop with only five employees, it grew to employ over a thousand people, and was at one point known as the world's largest manufacturer of chairs. By 1935 the company was making 123 types of chairs, including children's rockers. Most of the wood used in the making of their line of chairs were pecan, oak, and maple.

Chairs like this one were produced in limited numbers compared to the more generic kitchen and office types made by the Murphy chair company and virtually every major furniture maker into the 1930's.  These were meant for use in Men's clubs and lodge halls, values for chairs like this one are higher than for the more generic mass produced examples. Examples like this one upholstered in leather and in good condition often sell at auction $200.00- $350.00 range.