Antique Fainting Couches
An antique fainting couch is a type of couch that traditionally has one end higher than the other.
History & Description
Fainting couches were particularly popular in the nineteenth century and were most commonly used by women. Some households would even have a separate fainting room, in which one or more fainting couches would be the main mode of furniture.
Although similar to a chaise lounge, a fainting couch is different due to the shape and placement of the back piece of the furniture. The back of a fainting couch runs alongside the longer side of the couch or may wrap itself around the entire length of the piece. The back of a chaise lounge, on the other hand, is limited to the shorter end.
Guide for collectors
Antique fainting couches are regularly sold through national auction houses, such as Fisher’s Auction Service in Huntsville, Texas and Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago, Illinois. Prices can vary considerably, but as a general rule collectors can expect to pay between $300 and $900 for a late-nineteenth century fainting couch.
The price of a fainting couch is determined by its condition and materials used. For example, fainting couches made from mahogany are typically more valuable than those made of walnut.
Notable auction sales
On September 18th 2011 at Fairfield Auction LLC in Newtown, Cincinnati, a French Empire style fainting couch, circa late-nineteenth century, realised a price of $2,800.
On October 3rd 2010 at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago, Illinois, a Renaissance Revival style fainting couch, circa late-nineteenth century, realised a price of $1,100.
On March 31st 2007 at Noel Barrett Auctions in Carversville, Pennsylvania, a Victorian mahogany miniature fainting couch, circa late-nineteenth century, realised a price of $1,400.
On January 25th 2010 at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago, Illinois, an Art Nouveau mahogany fainting couch, circa early-twentieth century, realised a price of $1,000.