How to Identify Vintage Ethan Allen Furniture: A Comprehensive Guide

April 27, 2023

Ethan Allen furniture has been a staple in American homes since the mid-20th century, known for its traditional style and quality craftsmanship. However, not all Ethan Allen furniture is created equal - particularly when it comes to vintage pieces. If you're looking to identify vintage Ethan Allen furniture, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

Understand the Brand's History

Ethan Allen was founded in 1932 in Vermont, and the company has continued to produce high-quality furniture ever since. The brand became particularly well-known during the mid-century modern period, when they produced classic pieces with clean lines and timeless design. Understanding this history is an important first step in identifying vintage Ethan Allen furniture.

Look for the Right Labels and Markings

One of the easiest ways to identify vintage Ethan Allen furniture is to look for the brand's labels and markings. Most vintage pieces will have a stamp, sticker, or metal plate somewhere on the piece that identifies it as Ethan Allen. Some pieces may also have a date stamp, which can help you determine the approximate age of the piece. These labels and markings are typically located either on the underside of the piece or inside a drawer.

Pay Attention to the Construction and Materials

Quality construction is one of the hallmarks of Ethan Allen furniture, and this is particularly true for vintage pieces. Look for signs of solid wood or high-quality veneers, as well as dovetail joints, which indicate skilled craftsmanship. Vintage Ethan Allen furniture is also known for its attention to detail, so look for things like decorative grooving or intricate carvings.

Know the Different Styles

Ethan Allen furniture has gone through a few different design phases over the years, so it's important to know what to look for based on the style of the piece. Some of the most common vintage Ethan Allen styles include:

  • Americana: This style is characterized by classic American design, often featuring elements like spindle legs or Windsor chairs.
  • Baumritter: Named after the husband-and-wife team that started Ethan Allen, this style is known for its clean lines and masculine design.
  • Hitchcock: This style is characterized by its use of stenciled designs, often featuring floral or fruit patterns.
  • Nutmeg: This style is known for its warm, Midwestern feel, often featuring natural wood finishes and simple designs.

Consider the Finish

Vintage Ethan Allen furniture is known for its high-quality finishes, which often involve hand-applied stains and varnishes. Look for signs of wear on the finish - in some cases, this can actually indicate that the piece is authentic and has a history of use. However, be wary of pieces that have been heavily refinished or painted over, as this can significantly decrease their value.

Check for Authenticity

There are a few ways to check the authenticity of vintage Ethan Allen furniture. One option is to consult online resources, such as the Ethan Allen website or forums dedicated to the brand. You can also take the piece to an antiques dealer or furniture appraiser, who can help you determine whether the piece is authentic and assess its value. Keep in mind, however, that an appraisal may come with a fee.


Identifying vintage Ethan Allen furniture requires a bit of knowledge and expertise, but with these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to building a collection of high-quality, timeless pieces. By understanding the brand's history, paying attention to construction and materials, and knowing the different styles, you'll be able to identify authentic vintage pieces that will bring a classic touch to any room.



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I enjoy designing and curating experiences both virtually and in 3-dimensional reality. I have a Bachelor of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology and currently practice professionally, but I also manage a few other ventures.
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