Posted on 113 Comments

What Happened to Harden Furniture? The Sad Truth about one of America’s Best Furniture Companies!

vintage Harden dresser

About Harden Furniture

Harden Furniture used to be a premier brand for luxury furniture stores.

Harden bedroom furniture, living room and dining room furniture decorated the most high end furniture stores around the country.

Indeed, most high end retailers looked at Harden as one of the best quality recommendations they could make to their clientele.

Their traditional styles and fine solid wood furniture spoke of timelessness and true quality.

Today, sadly, Pre-Owned Harden Furniture can only be found in select places.

Who Sells Harden Furniture?

Essentially, you can only purchase Harden Furniture at

  • Vintage Stores
  • Antique Stores
  • Thrift and Charity Shops
  • Fine Consignment Shops
  • Online Antique Stores
  • Craigslist Furniture Section
  • Ebay Stores
  • Chairish and Other Online Platforms

Furniture Manufacturing has finally halted at the Mcconnellsville, New York Factories as of 2018.

Harden Furniture Liquidation sales of all wooden parts and machinery took place during the last quarter of 2018. Customers, woodworkers, office workers and retailers said goodbye for the last time to Harden Furniture.

Harden Furniture History

Harden Furniture stayed a family company until its last few years and witnessed five generations of owners with the Harden name. harden furniture history

The Harden family settled in Northern New York State (North of Syracuse, near the Canadian border) in the 1840’s. At that time, Charles S. Harden Sr., had returned home to the New York area after his adventurous spirit took him out west to search for gold.

While no gold nuggets turned up in the Colorado mines, Charles established a successful saw mill on the winding Fish Creek in New York.

His son, Frank, took a great interest in the saw mill and wood arts. It was at this time that the father and son duo saw opportunity utilizing their lumber and sawmill to build bridges. They formed a successful bridge construction company during the summer months. During harsh New York winters, they started making kitchen chairs.

These chairs gained popularity and jump started a new venture! Next, Harden started producing parlor chairs, rockers and upholstered pieces in the late 1800’s.

Harden Cherry Furniture

In the 1930’s, Frank’s son, Harry, made a huge transformation to Harden’s product line. Previously, Harden craftsmen used mahogany, maple and birch wood. Harry Harden decided to make native black cherry the focus in the company’s fine furniture goods.

From this point forward, cherry wood harvested from local New York forests became the main component of Harden Furniture.

In fact, Harden purchased thousands of acres of forest and implemented a sustainable forestry program.

harden cherry furnitureMost recent owner, Greg Harden, spoke of Harden’s commitment to harvest select trees to allow for new growth and regeneration of their forests.

In fact, one of Harden’s slogans was “Harden Furniture: From the Forest to your Home.” Their focus on environmental sustainability earned them national recognition as well.

This commitment to the production of solid cherry furniture led the company to huge success in the 1970’s through the 1990’s. Known for its durability and beauty, cherry furniture by Harden developed into a status symbol for fine homes. At its peak, the company employed 500 people and produced and distributed thousands of pieces of furniture across the United States each year.

Harden Furniture in the Modern Era

harden cherry sideboardLike many American companies, including Pennsylvania House, Harden faced challenges in the post 1990 era.

As trade opened up with Asia and Mexico, American production moved overseas where cheaper labor markets emerged.

By the 1990’s and 2000’s, Harden Furniture Company struggled to compete on price.

Greg Harden sited a “20 percent disadvantage” of labor costs in their production lines compared to overseas manufacturers in an early 2000 interview.

Cheap imported furniture distributed by large retailers started to win dominance in the US market. In fact, most domestic fine furniture makers could see no way to compete with big box stores.

And as manufacturing jobs left our shores, the middle class who once was able to purchase and enjoy solid wood furniture, found no way to afford such a luxury.

Essentially, as manufacturing jobs left, so too did a strong middle class.

Fine Furniture occupied an even smaller portion of the market during the 2008 crash and subsequent recession.

Of course as many people faced foreclosure, opulent dining room sets with a price tag of $20,000 or more seemed out of touch with the new economic realities hoisted on the American people.

Facing these challenges to profits and diminishing sales, Harden started to experience layoffs and tightening finances.

Harden Furniture Company Buy Out

During the mid 2000’s, Harden employed less than 300 people.

During these hard times, Harden also took a risk and started a product line made overseas. Their “Tapestry” line introduced a lesser priced imported line under the Harden umbrella. Unfortunately (or fortunately), this short-lived attempt to offer cheaper goods didn’t boost sales and was phased out.

The time came after a series of layoffs, restarts and attempts to salvage the company that Harden LLC was sold. After 174 years of business, Harden Furniture came under new ownership.

Who Owns Harden Furniture?

In January 2018, Big Shoulders Capital, LLC out of Illinois purchased Harden Furniture.

While the new company aimed to give new life to Harden, they simply could not bring back the manufacturing process in a serious way. Additionally, the new owners could not surmount company debts. After two failed attempts to resuscitate the company, Harden furniture under Big Shoulders Capital LLC sent their tools and remaining equipment to the auction block in October of 2018.

Big Shoulders Capital and its partners are now attempting to sell the “Harden” name and the remaining intellectual property under sealed bids. Bidding for the name, website and furniture plans are open until February 1, 2019.

Harden Furniture Styles

harden sofa Certainly, we remember Harden fondly for their incredible furniture. As a vintage store, we witness the beauty and craftsmanship of Harden Furniture collection nearly every day. In fact, it remains one of our favorite traditional furniture manufacturers.

But what differentiates Harden from other brands?

Besides the commitment to solid cherry, I think the Harden Furniture Collections designs were truly top notch.

Harden worked relentlessly at perfecting their cabinet, table and chair designs. Harden bedroom furniture, with beautiful poster beds and dressers, equaled Stickley furniture’s quality in my opinion. By their peak, the company sold over 750 different furniture pieces, and most, if not all, were adaptations of period pieces.

It goes without saying that Harden studied the masters.

Elegant block front chests echoed the work of 18th Century Rhode Island cabinetmaker, Samuel Goddard.

Gooseneck arms on an elegant dining chair mimic English classics, like the popular Queen Anne style.

harden furniture valueThe shell carvings and full bonnet on a Harden highboy highlight the beautiful work of early American masters.

And of course, the ornate overlays often found on a Harden secretary or curio cabinet echo the works of Thomas Chippendale.

Finally, there is always a certain elegance to the details on Harden furniture. We often see end tables and dining tables with cookie corners, rather than simple flat aprons. Solid brass swan neck hardware often decorates Harden drawers.

Another interesting Harden signature: Harden often did raised designs rather than inlay work. For instance, we have seen the belle-fleur motif popularized by George Hepplewhite make its way to Harden pieces. But instead of inlaying with a lighter wood, the Harden pieces show raised carvings on their solid cherry components.

Harden Furniture Finish

Of course, great wood, high level craftsmanship and beautiful designs are only part of the process. The stunning wood creations also have to go through final finishing.

As one of our vintage Harden catalog’s states,

“Harden’s beauty is much more than ‘skin deep.’.. Each piece of wood is beautifully matched; no natural defects are permitted, even on unexposed wood… Each drawer is meticulously sanded, sealed, lacquered and waxed so that even the most delicate silks and laces can be stored within, safely. Harden’s unique 18-step finishing process enhances the natural beauty of the wood and makes their furniture satin smooth to the touch.”

harden furniture catalogHeirloom furniture features a lengthy 18 step finishing process that protects the wood from blemishes and signs of wear. In fact, while regular polishing and careful use certainly helps, it is the finishing process that takes a piece of furniture from good to great!

Harden’s deep cherry finishes are both beautiful and phenomenally strong. With good care, Harden furniture can be passed down from generation to generation. Pre-owned Harden furniture will surely outlast its less expensive counterparts.

Harden Furniture in the White House

While most pieces in the White House are exact replicas, often made by Kittinger Furniture, Harden also has a place of honor in our nation’s capital.

Several of their fine black cherry pieces sit in the First Lady’s office. Harden also made 1000 chairs for the Capital’s Visitor Center and chairs for the House and Senate.

Most recently, Harden also was commissioned to make a 16 foot long conference table for the Theodore Roosevelt room in the White House in 2011. The special White House project took several special considerations. It had to fit the narrow room (built in 1902) and also be easy to disassemble for other types of receptions. Of course, obviously, it had to have presence and style to impress the President and Heads of State that would meet there. 🙂 Harden rose to the occasion and developed a stunning conference table made of their signature domestic cherry.

Harden Furniture Values

Vintage furniture can face fluctuations like any other market. Of course, both trends in interior design and in the general economy can affect buying decisions for the general population.

harden furniture price guideThat said, Harden held a steady grip on the high end furniture market for many years. There are many people who had extreme loyalty towards the brand, and thus the name recognition for Harden is rather high, and for good reason.

Currently, on the used market, Harden furniture may be facing a short term loss in value, much like most pre-owned fine furniture. You can purchase fine furniture made by Harden at wonderful places like Bohemians for pennies on the dollar. 🙂

Personally, I feel as though Harden Furniture may appreciate in value in coming years, especially as the legend of Harden grows. The sad truth of their recent closing may send loyal fans to seek out Harden furniture for sale. Right now, traditional fine vintage furniture really has no match in quality and Harden still stands as one of the premier companies.

True American Fine Furniture can be an incredible investment for savvy buyers. And personally, I see traditional designs taking center stage again in the design world once again. Fabrics and accessories can always be changed or modified, but when a room has fine Harden Furniture as its bones, you will immediately notice the elegant difference.

What to Look for in Harden Furniture?

As with any used furniture, you may have questions about what to look for in Harden Furniture for sale.

Of course, seeing the brand name in the drawers and undersides of chairs and tables provides reassurance of quality. In nearly all case pieces (dressers, sideboards, china cabinets) the name Harden is burned into the wood. In most cases, the year that the piece was made also accompanies the brand name, most often seen on the back of these pieces.

harden label

Paper tags and cloth labels were used on chairs and upholstered goods though. So if you don’t see the Harden tag on a sofa or chair, it is possible it went missing or someone removed it. Then, without a bill of receipt or other evidence, it becomes hard to attribute the piece to Harden unless you have a very trained eye!

With all this in mind, the evidence of the Harden name is still only half the battle. The condition of the Harden piece speaks volumes.

While most Harden furniture comes from fine homes and is well kept, there are instances when Harden furniture suffers from bad storage, over use, or harmful polishes.

We have seen solid cherry dining tables cup and warp when they were improperly stored in very cold or humid places. Storage units without temperature control can do quite a bit of harm to beautiful cherry furniture. You may see splits on the sides of china cabinets or warped china cabinet doors.

harden furniture label

Also, many people do not realize that inexpensive furniture polishes can do harm to the hand-rubbed finishes of Harden pieces. So be careful if you see a waxy or hazy finish on Harden. This may signal a little overzealous use of the aerosol cans! (As a side note, we recommend a particular Harden furniture polish! Where to buy Harden Furniture Polish?)

Finally, chair joints often see the most use, so be weary of loose joints in dining chairs. While they can be repaired, dining chairs need lots of clamps and lots of patience.

Harden Furniture Company

While sadly not in business anymore, thousands of people still have the opportunity to enjoy Harden Furniture in their homes. The beautiful dining, living room and bedroom furniture by Harden will remain an excellent choice for modern homes.

pre-owned Harden Furniture

As we see Harden close for good, I feel lucky and honored to have sold some incredible Harden pieces over the years.

Indeed, I hope to find more of these vintage Harden beds, Harden dressers, Harden sofas and Harden dining room furniture in the future. Mature clients recognize the Harden name for its quality and craftsmanship, while younger clients immediately recognize the beauty and style.

I sincerely hope you consider vintage Harden Furniture for your home. And if you have inherited some Harden Furniture pieces, I do hope you treasure them for years to come!

I can only guess that Harden will become more beloved as years go by, and no new company can come close to replacing them in craftsmanship, quality or beauty.

Thank you for reading and for inviting us into your traditional home!

Written by Rachel LaBoheme

Posted on 113 Comments

113 thoughts on “What Happened to Harden Furniture? The Sad Truth about one of America’s Best Furniture Companies!

  1. We bought a new Walnut Live Edge dining room table from Harden in 2013. I believe it has a polyurethane finish. When asking at the Harden factory how to clean, the said just use a wet towel, then dry off. Thats what we have done for 8 years. Now we are starting to notice the finish is getting dull. You can see white in the grain. What would cause this and is there anything we can do other than getting a refinish?

    1. Hi Ed. Thank you for writing. My best guess is a little bit of moisture got trapped in the finish somehow, causing some white streaks. I am not an expert on “live edge furniture,” however, you could try some Howard’s Restor-a-finish (probably in walnut color). This product is sold in Lowe’s and Home Depot, usually in the paint department. I would suggest wiping it on and then buffing it off with a soft tee-shirt rag. (You may want to try an inconspicuous spot beforehand). Then, try a beeswax to protect the table. I also like Howard’s brand of beeswax. I think this should brighten up the finish and reduce the dullness. Best of luck! I hope this helps. Happy New Year! Best, Rachel

    2. I’m sorry I’m not seeing a place to enter my own comment. I am looking for the bottled Harden Furniture Cleaner/Polish. Is it still available and if so, where???

    3. It does not seem to be available as Harden closed. Sorry, have you tried Guardsmen furniture polish.

  2. Hi
    In the 1990’s I purchased a Harden boat shape cherry dining table. Over the years it has developed many scratches and unfortunately I have occasionally used pledge. The table has a burnished oil finish and my husband is an amateur woodworker and would like to refinish and remove the scratches. He has an oscillating sander but we do not want to take it down to the original natural wood because of possible blotchy finish. Someone recommended just buffing. Do you have any thoughts on what we might do. It is a beautiful table with a rich red color and we do not want to ruin it. Thank you for any advice.

    1. Hi Marie, not sure how deep or bad the scratches are but we usually start with the simple and most effective first. That is using a product called “Howards-Restore-A-Finish” that you can find at any Lowes or Home depot paint department. It wipes on like old english but much much much better. it comes in a cherry color as well, we pretty much use the walnut or dark walnut on most pieces. No worries as it really doesnt stain anything. We then wipe off any excess and buff with a soft cloth or old tshirt. We then use a coat or two of a good bees wax, “Howards” make an easy one to use as well. I would try that approach first and see what happens. It can be quite amazing if you take a bit of time and just buff and wax. Hope that helps and look forward to hearing good news about your table soon?

  3. I have a harden sleight bed. Live in Baltimore. I know Harden used to have a contract with a professional to deal with scratches and dings. Is there anyone still like that in the Baltimore area?

    1. Not that we know of, if it is a light scratch try “howards-restore-a-finish” its available at lowes and home depot in the paint department, wipes on like old english but works fantastic.

  4. Is there any chance you could give me some guidance on how to disassemble my Harden Sleigh Bed? There are bolts holding the side rails to the head and foot boards that I’m just not sure how to undo. Thanks.

    1. Im thinking you have what i call a bolt thru bed, You will need a socket the right size and unscrew the rail from behind the headboard and do the same for the footboard. Sometimes even after unscrewing the bolt you will have to rock the headboard a bit to get it to seperate from the side rails.

  5. I am looking for appropriate bed slats for my Harden poster/canopy queen size bed frame.
    Where would you recommend I look for suitable slats to fit?

    1. Hi Sallie, measure the distance between your side rails and go to lowes or home depot, they will cut a nice piece of poplar or oak for you. The cost of wood & lumber at the moment is quite high though expect close to $20 per slat.

  6. I purchased the “Washington Irving” desk in the 80’s. Is this desk still being made by anyone? How rare do you think it is? It is an absolutely beautiful desk!

    1. Hi Chris, Yes the Washington Irving Harden Desks were very nice. They seem to be available readily online so probably not to rare. I am not aware of anyone that really makes anything nice these days but small custom cabinet shops.

  7. I have inherited a Harden four poster bed. Each end of the side rail is routed out several inches deep and holds a piece of U-shaped hardware that then fits onto a piece of hardware mounted to the surface of leg of the head/footboard. One of those pieces inside one side rail is missing. Do you have any idea where I might find that piece of hardware? This does not appear to be a ‘standard’ bedframe piece. Thanks.

    1. Hi Barbara, Im not familiar with the piece from your description but i would try Tru Value hardware stores. They actually have quite a large selection of u shape type hardware, maybe one would fit for you. I doubt Harden made there own bed hardware so it may be a piece readily available. In other words they adapted clamps that were intended for something else and worked well for there bed rails. Hope that helps. Other wise you may have to replace the hole bracket with something from any furniture parts / bed parts website that would work.

  8. Hi, I have a Harden rocking chair that I am recovering and found this tag that has:
    The Frank S. Harding Co.
    McConnellsville, N.Y.
    Lockwood Bros
    No. 731R. Covering D430 ML Comb
    The chair has been in my family for over 100 years and I was wondering if you have any information regarding this piece of furniture.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Karen, The tag most likely is reference to the store that was selling the rocker probably as a local furniture store. It may also be an upholsterer tags but I do believe Harden did its own work so I would guess the store theory is probably correct. The numbers are the style of chair , finish or stain number and the inventory number for the material used. Harden was famous for making there clients matching pieces of furniture that they had bought in the future. Any connection to the “Harding family tree” I wouldnt be aware of. Enjoy! and pick out a great looking fabric!

  9. I have a beautiful 40 year old Harden desk with a drawer lock. Unfortunately the key has been misplaced. The key number is 164. Would you know who the supplier is?

    1. Hello Olga, while I can not say with 100% certainty I have had great luck with sets of standard keys from search “Ring of 10 Unique Barrel Keys For Cabinet & Furniture Locks” the cost is about $25, one of the keys should work for you as many locks are actually quite simple.

  10. We purchased a Harden Four Pencil Post king size bed in early 2001 for our newly constructed home and it’s one of our most prized possessions. My wife’s father, was a friend of Frank Harden and she and her father were treated to cruise on Mr. Harden’s yacht. About two years ago, we saw a console table at a consignment shop. I opened the drawer and there was the Harden (“branded”) name. Sold and away we went.
    Terrible to American brand names disappear.

    1. Very nice you got to ride on the yacht. We agree it is a shame that these wonderful companies are gone, great great pieces of furniture. We look for Harden all the time, great classy and timeless look.

  11. Love our Hardon Furniture. Especially love the Secretary that we waited months to get. Never a problem with any of it. will take your suggestion and use the Original Bees wax polish . So sorry they are gone.

    1. Enjoy Your Harden furniture, it is some of our favorite vintage furniture and always beautiful.


    1. Hi Fred! Sure, there is a market for Harden furniture. Just know, used Harden furniture sells for around 30-50 percent of the original Suggested Retail Price. Of course, condition really matters, too. Thanks for writing!

    2. We purchased our Harden Dining room set in 1982 – table, six dining chairs two captains chairs, a hutch and a server. A few years later my husband also bought me a Harden desk. To this day I love every piece of Harden in our home.
      I now need a new pad for the table and am wondering if you could recommend a company.

      Pat Parry

    3. Hi Pat! Yes, we always order table pads from The owner Rick, is very helpful. You may be able to find your exact table model on the website. However, often we trace the table edges to be sure to get a great fit. There are directions on the website. Thanks for writing!

  13. My wife a I purchased several Harden pieces in the early 80’s when we built our first house. We lived there for about 3 years but wanted something a little larger. Of course when we designed our second house , we made sure that every Harden piece of furniture had it’s own special place within the house. To this day we are still very proud of every Harden piece of furniture we own and cannot tell you how sad we are to have heard about Harden’s demise. Glad we made the investment in Harden furniture when we did.

    1. Hi Jeffrey and Dianna. SO glad you got some pieces from Harden and are still enjoying them to this day. Thank you for writing!

  14. Do you know how to go about finding a Harden catalog or details about of a specific piece of Harden Furniture? I have two top china cabinets but not the bottoms to them (Harden 216 is written on the top inside). I am trying to find the name of this specific cabinet to see if there are any bottoms out there to purchase or the details of how to custom make them to hold these heavy hutches and match.

    1. Hi Sherri! Yes, Harden catalogs are occasionally found on eBay for sale. You may also be able to find a photo of one for sale that mimics what you are looking to reproduce. However, I must warn you… it may not be economical to have a base built. You may opt to purchase another vintage Harden cabinet online instead. Best of luck with your search! Thank you for writing!

  15. I just purchased a Harden lingerie chest from Goodwil for $20. It is dinged up a bit with a few scratches and such but other than that still very solid. Do you have any advice for properly refinishing? I am an amateur woodworker myself, but I have not refinished anything of this quality before.

    1. Hi John, Great find at Goodwill! I think it should be fairly straight forward to refinish the Harden Lingerie chest, since it is no doubt made of solid cherry. We use a chemical stripper, then sand to remove the rest of the finish. We use Mohawk products and use a spray lacquer, but you can use any product you are familiar with. Best of luck with your project. At $20, you really cannot go wrong!

  16. Is the furniture polish being made by anyone now?

    1. I do not believe so, though there are lots of high quality furniture polishes available. I personally like Guardsman Polish as well as “The Original Bee’s Wax” spray for high end furniture like Harden. Thanks Sharon!

  17. Do you know where i can find a poster queen bed

    1. Hi Rosemary, we get them in stock from time to time. But you can also check or ebay. I prefer Chairish because usually the shipping is pretty reasonable, even if you find something on the other side of the country. Best of luck! Thanks for writing!

  18. This is a real disappointment — I had imagined that companies like Harden would be revered. Clearly, I was mistaken.

    My wife and I purchased an array of Harden furniture when we bought our house in 1992, and the finish on most of the pieces now needs a little attention. I saw your response to Lois M., but I was wondering if we should pre-treat our furniture with anything before using polish. In other words, is it necessary to use something that would condition or restore wood before it is polished?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Scott! It really depends on how rough the finish is. If you have deep blemishes or scratches, simply using polish may not help. If you have a broken finish, from either a heat or water mark, you may wish to try some touch-up pens, Howards Restore a Finish or Old English to try to cover these marks before you polish. Best of luck. Thank you for reading. So glad you are enjoying your Harden Furniture after all of these years.

  19. So sorry to learn that the Harden Furniture company is no longer making fine furniture. I very much appreciate your article, “What Happened to Harden Furniture”.
    I am preparing my Harden dining room furniture (No. 561 Dining Table, No. 229 Credenza, No. 232 Arm and Side Chairs) for Thanksgiving this week and have a question about Harden Furniture Cream. I have the original bottle that I received when my husband and I purchased the furniture in 1982. Over the years, we only used about half of the bottle of this product. Can you tell me if the Harden Furniture Cream remaining in the bottle is still be good and safe to use on my furniture?

    1. Hi Lois! Happy Thanksgiving. I would suggest using something more to date. Most Furniture polishes have a shelf-life of a few years. Guardsman Polish (available at most Walmart Centers) is a good substitute. Best of luck and Happy Holidays!

  20. I would like to get my garden couch, loveseat and ottoman recovered, any suggestions?

    1. Hi Donna, I don’t know where you are located, but if you are local to Waynesboro PA, I can suggest Kelly at “The Window Sill” in Smithsburg, MD. Likely she will be able to give you a good recommendation if she herself doesn’t have time to do it. Otherwise, your best bet is to find a recommendation from a local furniture store. Best of luck, Rachel

  21. Read your piece on Harden Furniture Company with great interest. A 3 section wall unit (each of the three pieces is actually base and top for total of 6 pieces) was first piece of high quality furniture my husband and I purchased back around the late 1980’s. Unfortunately , my husband passed away 21 years ago but the furniture holds many fond memories. I may need to sell the furniture in the next few years as I anticipate the need to downsize further. I find it so sad that so many of our children in their 40’s and younger find the “throw away” furniture so appealing. They struggle to find the value in quality furniture. I understand that older, high quality design isn’t trendy – but it is designed to last several lifetimes.

    It is so sad to see the demise of companies like Harden. The craftsmanship of their workers is a thing of beauty and I feel blessed to have owned my Harden pieces for all these years. I will miss it when it is gone.

    1. Lois, I agree whole-heartedly. I hope your children will see the value in your beautiful Harden Wall unit and keep it in the family. Have you suggested that it could be a beautiful storage piece in a living room? I agree. The woodworkers and finishers at Harden did phenomenal work. Thank you for your thoughtful comment and for reading our article. Happy Holidays! 🙂

  22. It is a tragic shame. Yet, I don’t buy this bit about box stores being an issue. People who bought and now buy Harden on the secondary market, or any other legendary American high-end furniture brand are not interested in cheap junk, and simply do not buy furniture at so-called box stores. It’s always the same song with American brands that I do not buy into either box stores or internet shopping. These two excuses do not fly with me. I say, try again.

    1. I agree with you that quality buyers do not buy junk. Stores and businesses in general are driven by sales and orders, as the market for quality shrank due to big box stores very cheap alternatives. The customer base left was too small for many of these furniture manufacturers to stay afloat. I appreciate you opinion, our stance is taken in part from the large amount of actually factory owners themselves who still shop from our store to service their favorite old clients from the past as we still have some inventory.

  23. Very interesting read! I recently acquired what I think is a filing cabinet. It locks and has Harden Contract burned on the inside of the top drawer. Any ideas on this piece? Can’t find anything related to Harden Contract pieces. It’s beautiful!

    1. Hi Jessica. Actually no, I don’t think I have seen a Harden Contract piece. But of course, they did make very fine desks and some office furniture so it does not surprise me. Very glad you are enjoying it, though! Thanks for reading!

    2. We operated a separate Contract Division – same factory, people and processes. Our biggest contract customer was the Federal Government. Lots of great projects.

  24. Just read your article, it was very informative. I am in the process of down sizing and have a 12 ft Harden Vaulted Lighted curio cabinet that I am interested in selling. It was 10,000 at the time it was purchased. We’ve had it for approximately 25 years and loved it. Do you have any suggestions on where to list. We’ve loved having this piece of furniture in our home. Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Diana, Sounds like an amazing piece of furniture. Considering the size and most likely weight of the piece, I would suggest you try to sell it on the online platform called Chairish. Chairish has great benefits for their sellers, but the number one reason I suggest Chairish is because they handle the logistics of delivery when you sell it. Best of luck with your next phase in life. Thank you for reading!

  25. I recently purchased a sofa and chair in the sty le of Cushman Colonial creations, except it was made by the Frank S Hardin company. It appears to be very well made though I’m not sure the age likely between 1930s and 1960. It has the paddle arm look and I wonder if anyone else has seen this because I have not been able to even find a picture online anywhere. Also if anyone has access to vintage harden catalogs, I would be interested because the tag shows model numbers and fabric numbers.

    1. You may be able to find Harden Furniture Catalogs from that period on ebay or elsewhere online. We purchase old furniture catalogs and sometimes they do come in handy in dating a piece of vintage furniture. Of course, Harden did dabble in Mid Century designs, as many traditional furniture companies did… So I am guessing your assumption in the period is correct. Best of luck with finding more information about your sofa. Thanks for writing!

  26. I have a Craftique very large banquet size dining room mahogany table. Also have 8 traditional “Chippendale” chairs to go with the table. Purchased in 1982.
    Would like to sell this set thru a reputable dealer. Any ideas. ?

    1. Hi Tanny! It depends where you are located. Certainly, Craftique Furniture can command a good resale price. However, it is not as widely known as some other vintage furniture companies. Several of our pieces that we have sold by Craftique ended up going back to the North Carolina region. I would suggest trying Chairish Website. They are an online platform that specializes in antiques and vintage pieces. Also, they can conveniently hire the shipping companies for you. So that may be the best option for you to get a good offer on the set. Best of luck and thank you for writing!

    2. Hi Tanny. If you would like to sell through a dealer, I suppose you should go to a consignment shop. Bring lots of photos. I would also suggest that you do a little research on Craftique. Craftique Furniture was an excellent maker, but is most well known in North and South Carolina. You could also try selling the set yourself, but do not be surprised (or offended) if someone would like to purchase just the chairs or just the table. We almost never sell a dining room set together these days. It also could, believe it or not, help you sell the set overall for more money. Best of luck with your project. Best, Rachel

  27. We have a large Harden sectional sofa that we purchased new in 1995. It was available in custom size to fit in our living room. It has a heavy cotton upholstery that has worn amazingly well for its age. We still love it the sofa but it needs to be re-upholstered and it will need all new cushion cores, etc. It will need to be refurbished from the frame out. We had hoped to have Harden re-furnish this sofa, even though we knew it would be costly. We recently found out the company has closed. Can you recommend any re-upholstering individuals /operations that do the same quality work that Harden was known for? Thank you!

    1. Hi Rochelle. On a national scale, I really don’t have a great recommendation for you, unfortunately. I know professional upholstery people in my area have been getting less and less work over the years, as many people do not see the value in reupholstering an older sofa. Young people many times would rather just replace rather than repair. However, I am totally with you! The solid wood frame (and the custom size) of your Harden sofa make it totally worth the investment in re-upholstery. The best thing to do is to check google and ask local antique stores in your area. They often work with upholstery people and can give you a good name and recommendation. Best of luck with your project! Thanks for reading.

  28. I have a Harden dining room table. I LOVE it. I have had it for about 20 years. The top feels sticky in places. Any recommendations on what to clean it with?

  29. Where can I find Harden Furniture Polish?

    Dee Reedman

    1. Sorry Dee we get that question often, they closed up just over a year ago. Look on Ebay as someone may be selling old bottles of the Harden Wax.

  30. I am at a loss that Harden Furniture Polish is no longer available. Do you know of anyplace that sells this fine polish
    as I have used it since the 1970s?
    Dee Reedman

    1. Unfortunately, Dee, I do not. However, I have heard others say they use “Guardsman” Polish, which is available in most supermarkets etc… I personally use Howards Wax and “The Original Beeswax.” Both are available online. Thanks for writing!

    2. I have dinning room chairs with Donfield Traditional by Harden burned on the bottom with the number 258. I have four chairs and would like a couple more. These chairs were made by my mothers uncle when he worked for Harden in Camden NY back in the 50’s. Any idea how I could find a couple of chairs?

    3. Hi Philip, I would suggest saving a search for Harden Chairs on Ebay. Generally, they will email you when a similar product may pop up in the feed. Many sellers may not have the exact details listed though, so I would comb through anything with the words “Harden Chairs” in the title. You may have to be patient but I think something eventually should work for you!

    4. I use a product called “Williamsville Wax” that was recommended to me. My Harden furniture is not highly polished but instead is from their “burnished cherry” line (if I’m remembering correctly). I am supposed to wax the furniture yearly:

  31. Read your excellent article with much sadness, as I had not realized they had gone out of business . We have an impressive cherry corner cabinet from Harden in our living room, along with a few smaller pieces. My sister and I recently finished the task of cleaning out and selling our parent’s home in suburban Baltimore. They had lived in their home for 60 + happy years, and it was a daunting task to find homes for,or get rid of, a lifetime of possessions. They married in 1947, and at the time, bought only a very few pieces of furniture.. preferring quality over quantity. As the years progressed, they were able to complete , and then some, their décor. . One of their original pieces, their Harden coffee table purchased in 1949, remained their coffee table for their entire lives. It held countless cups of coffee and deserts, cocktails and apps, books, magazines, coloring books, games, Christmas decorations, etc. It held children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, hiding under it, sitting on it, sometimes even standing on it. After it’s last few years of life, when my Mom was no longer able to tell everyone to “please use a coaster”, it got a bit of abuse from the caretakers helping in the house, and was covered with water marks. I took to a local refinisher, and it literally looks brand new. No one that sees it, can believe it is 73 years old. But even more than it’s appearance, is it’s structural condition. Never has a piece of furniture felt so sturdy. The refinisher just had to sand and restain, no repair. This piece of furniture could probably take a few more generations sitting and standing on it, with not a wiggle. Beautiful, and durable cherry and mahogany furniture seems a thing of the past, and sadly furniture is becoming almost disposable. I hope that one of my children or grandchildren can put this table to good use, and share the happy moments that it brought our family.Thank you Harden furniture, for all of the beauty you created in so many American homes.

    1. Susan, your story is quite touching! Harden will be sorely missed, for sure. But you are right, the furniture lives on for generations. So glad you were able to save and restore the Harden coffee table. Thank you for your lovely story and thank you for reading!

  32. Does anyone know where I can buy a used Harden #580 adjustable height table?

    1. Picture, please.

  33. I am not sure if an item I am considering buying is a Harden table or not. I could not find this table when I researched it on the internet. If I sent a picture, would you know if it was? I saw a paper label with Harden on it stuck under the table with instructions about maybe needing to make adjustments to the table due to expansion, etc., but the actual markings I saw on the underside say “The Asher.” Would Harden have that marked on the underside of their table? Could it be a design line they carried? Thanks so much for your help!

    1. Not sure of the name of the line of furniture but it could be Harden, Im sorry but im not sure what your question or concern is? If its nice and you like the table then happy decorating!

    2. Your table is likely from the Asher Benjamin collection, by Harden. Short lived but legit. Send photo, I’ll confirm.

  34. I have a Harden dining table/chairs. I’ve been looking for additional chairs and have not been able to find any that match, so I’m ready to sell our set. It’s from 1989, in excellent condition, Model 1887-3 in Champagne. I have 3 leaves, 2 arm chairs (model 1894) and 4 side chairs (model 1893). Rather than dumping it at a consignment shop or reseller, I’d prefer to get it into the hands of someone that appreciates it. brad.denenberg at

    1. Best of luck Brad. You could certainly try Facebook marketplace, craigslist or a local Newspaper to try to sell it privately. Thanks for writing!

  35. Hello I am very impressed with this website and hope that someone could help me with my question. My mom has Harden piano stool number 209 & beautifully Embroidered and in very good shape. If someone could contact me as how to get it appraised it would be greatly appreciative
    Thank you
    Teresa Parsons

    1. Hi Teresa, Your best bet is probably to call a local auctioneer. Most are very well versed on the “hammer price” of vintage and antique furniture these days… Unfortunately, much of the market has been on a downturn for several years, so the auction price might be a bit low, even though I am sure it is a beautiful piece. Best of luck with it! Thanks for writing!

  36. I first purchased a Harden end table in 1956 or 57. I loved it and we purchased other Harden pieces as we could afford to. I have a buffet,
    a drop leaf dining room table, two arm chairs and six side chairs, a long coffee table, a full-size bookcase bed, and a beautiful server . They
    are all in excellent condition. However after all these years of use, I really need to clean the furniture to rid it of normal household
    soil and some years of smoking in the house. I do not know what to use and wonder if you have a recommendation? I would really appreciate
    knowing what to use, for I highly value this furniture and only hope that someone else in the future will value it as much as we have.
    I am so very sorry that Harden has closed and it really does bring tears to my eyes to think such a fine company could not be saved.

    1. Hi Alice. There are some gentle furniture cleaners out there like Murphy’s Oil Soap that should do the trick. You could also consider using some cleaners by the company, Watco, if there is heavy grime or smoke damage. As far as returning some luster to the piece, you can then (after you clean it) try some Howard’s Restor-a-Finish (probably in dark walnut) and finish with the paste wax by Howards. I would approach each product you try very carefully (and with clean rags) and in an unobtrusive spot because every piece is a little different and may respond differently… Best of luck and enjoy your beautiful Harden Furniture! Thanks for reading.

  37. I worked for Harden Furniture for nearly 45 years. I worked in the woodshop, and helped create many of the fine pieces that found homes throughout the world. I currently own two fine pieces, a Lincoln rocker from 1979, and a George Washington “Uncommon Chair” from 2018, that I was tasked with bringing it to life, from drawings to full size. So sad what happened. Many memories.

    1. Cris, thank you for your comment! I know the people of Harden are what really made Harden great! 🙂 I feel fortunate to still run across some of the fine creations of the Harden Furniture Company at my used furniture store, and believe me, it’s often the best pieces you can find. Thank you for reading!

  38. This article is amazing. I came upon it researching an amazing desk I found at a thrift store this week. It is from the Sleepy Hollow Reproductions line from the early 1980s. It is a replica of Washington Irving’s desk. I’m over the moon excited and trying to find as much information as possible. The long storied history of this cmos y makes me love my desk even more. Thank you!

    1. Tracy, thank you so much for writing! It sounds like you found a real treasure! Enjoy your desk and thank you for your comment! Best, Rachel

  39. I wrote a comment but I think it was deleted by me by mistake. I have six Bowback Windsor Chairs that Harden made when they were building the bridges over the Erie Canal. I have the small china cabinet and the round pedestal
    table with a leaf. I love it but like so many elderly people I have to down size. My aunt was the first store to sell Harden below the Mason Dixon Line in Goodlettsville, Tenn. I suppose that some of the folks we knew are now decease. Paul Wright was our truck driver and Thelma Buffalo would talk to us about our orders. I have such good memories of these people. Such a sad day and I know this would break Dave Harden’s heart. But you know time marches on but the young people today shop for price and not quality.

    1. Yes, we have heard that many times Mary Ann… that young people purchase furniture based on price and not quality. But I do believe many of them are starting to appreciate fine quality furniture. Very interesting to know that Harden was well received in the south! Thanks for reading!

    2. Dave was my uncle a genuine gentleman. He would have been broken hearted over the end of Harden. His sister Ann who died shortly after he passed, she was in charge of the showroom and the inspiration for many of the most elegant designs. You might like to know Greg told me the last thing made at the Harden
      factory was a box for Dave Hardens ashes. Greg tried so hard to keep the factory going. Sadly many people are more interested in throw away furniture.

  40. I have six of the bowback Windsor dining chairs what they discontinue. A small china cabinet and the round pedestal dining table with a leaf. I have stored i in a climate control storage unit hoping that my son and his wife would want it. She prefers the Pottery Barn furniture. I told my son this is something you will never be able to afford . My aunt had a store in Goodlettsville, Tenn and she wanted but the Harden line to sell. We went to the factory and Mr. Harden would entertain his dealers once a year. This was a great lesson for me to see the process that went into this fine furniture . He also build a Country Club for his factory workers and they were all like family., I think this is the reason he was so loved by all of his employees.. This breaks my heart to see this company no longer in business.

  41. So sorry to learn of Harden being sold. Our entire home is furnished with Harden cherry and it is the best! I need more Harden furniture polish and need to know if it is available.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Mariel! I am not too sure what Harden recommended as far as furniture polish but I have had good luck with “Guardsman Furniture Polish” and a brand of beeswax known as “The Original Beeswax”… I also like Howard’s Brand of “Feed -n – Wax” but it is a bit more time consuming to buff out. Thanks for reading and your comment!

  42. I have the tea buffet I picked up from a goodwill. .love it

  43. So sad this happened. Both my parents worked there, dad 36 years and mom 27 years. I have a drop leaf tea cart they bought 40+ years ago. I also have pieces my dad made at his home shop. I cherish all of the pieces. I remember as a kid riding 10 miles on my bike to visit them. I can still remember the smell of the wood.

    1. Tony, thank you so much for sharing your memories of the Harden Furniture Company. That smell of freshly cut wood is quite fragrant and evocative for me too!
      I am also glad to hear you have kept your Harden tea cart and other pieces. I am sure they are very special to you in your home! Thanks for reading. Rachel

  44. Hi – lived your article. We have a beautiful Harden bedroom set purchased in the 1980s and brought it with us to Florida where we have retired. My 6 year old granddaughter spilled a large 3-inch splotch of hot pink nail polish on my triple dresser 3 days ago. Most if it came up, but the surface is marred. Can you suggest a way to remove the residue or point me to a Harden finish expert here in Jacksonville? Very upset. Love my Harden. Thank you for any direction.

    1. Dear Joan, Thank you for writing and I am sorry to hear about this accident! Mohawk products have become the industry standard, as far as furniture finish and repair. They offer workshops and may have a list of re-finishers in your area (worth a shot). Using “Goof off” or “Goo Gone” would remove the nail polish but the dresser’s finish would need to be fixed or restrained. Nail polish is one of the worst, so I understand your frustration! Best of luck and remember, with a little money and patience, everything can be repaired. And fine furniture like Harden is certainly worth it!
      link to mohawk:

  45. I’ve bought Harden furniture before and like it (so sorry to see they’re gone) and so agree entirely with your excellent piece. I especially like Harden’s No. 1016 sofa shown in their catalogue from about 20 years ago (and in more recent years) and the sofa has sometimes appeared on the front cover of later catalogues, I believe. The sofa looks to be white or beige, probably cotton material, with a quite striking flower/tree/bird pattern. It has wide roll arms plus three separate back and seat cushions. I find so many manufacturers/dealers now only sell plain finishes, but I’m trying to find something with more pizzas/style but without looking too fussy.

    I’m an Englishman living in New York City and like English semi-formal soft furniture. Can you suggest where I can find such furniture in the New York metropolitan area (i.e. NYC or State, NJ, PA, CT)? I’m looking for two good sized sofas plus several arm chairs. But I need something comfortable, i.e. fully supportive of the leg and with a back just high enough to catch me in the nape of the neck. So many sofas nowadays resemble airline seats which frequently are too small (I’m 5′ 11″).

    Alternatively, I imported some of my parent’s furniture from England some years ago, and it wasn’t that costly to do. Can you suggest a British company willing to export furniture?

    Thank you very much for your help and again, for your really excellent article. I agree with it entirely.

    Michael, NY.

    1. Hi Michael,
      Thank you for writing.
      I hate to recommend a modern company that produces furniture because I really can’t stand behind their quality…

      However, there is an American company that does what we do on a larger scale (sell vintage pieces) that has several high quality sofas available. They are located in Perkasie, PA and are called “Stenella’s Antiques.” Most of their inventory is also listed on eBay and I am fairly certain they ship to NYC. I think you will find what you are looking for with them. Harden, Kittinger, Baker and Stickley all made phenomenal traditional sofas that I am sure will fit your taste. Also, I believe Stenella’s offers upholstery services if you find a frame but don’t care for the fabric.

      Best of luck with your decorating adventures!

  46. I am downsizing and need to sell my beautiful Harden dining room table and chairs and china cabinet. I don’t know where to begin to price it or where to list it. I live in Massachusetts. Any help?

    1. Mary, please see our article on selling your furniture. I think it will give you a good starting point on selling your dining room set. Best of luck with it and the next chapter of your life!

  47. So sad to hear Harden has closed. It truly was a reputable, high quality furniture brand that was highly regarded in the interior design /furniture industry. I have several pieces which my husband and I so enjoy. We recently moved and I need some additional hardware which was lost in the move. Is it possible for you to refer me to someone that could supply desk hardware? Thank you for leads you can suggest.

    1. Hi there Nancy. Yes, and interior designers still buy Harden pieces from me on the secondary market for their clients. It is really one of the best recommendations we can make! As far as the desk hardware, my best advice is to check out two companies. One is Ball and Ball hardware from Exton, PA. They make beautiful reproduction hardware in solid brass. The other would be which has a nice selection as well. Best of luck with it. And thank you for writing!

  48. My husbands family, from upstate NY, carried The Harden line for three generations. My husband was the fourth generation, being the first to make a commitment to Dave Harden to carry primarily the Harden line of furniture in his store upon his takeover in 1978, following the death of his father.
    Reading your blog brings back such happy memories and restores the great pride we felt as Harden furniture retailers in the Buffalo area. Having spent much time up at the factory and having had the great opportunity to send clients there to tour the factory, one could watch the huge cherry log roll into the saw mill, watch the beautiful planks be placed into the huge kilns heated by the wood scraps from production, and finally watching the cherry boards enter the factory and be carefully selected for its place in the table top. watching the planks being flipped and flopped by the craftsmen to get the grain and coloring just right for the perfect table top. One could follow this table all the through the process, eventually meeting up with the chair frames and cabinetry that would , eventually, join it in someones dining room. All pieces would be placed together during the finishing process as this job was done by hand through several steps. It was important that the dye-lot be the same on all pieces. If, in the years to come, the family wanted to add pieces to this dinning room, a drawer would be sent to the factory for a dye-lot match and, upon client approval, the new piece would be added to a vintage collection and one would never know.
    It is important to know the tradition in place at the factory under the ownership of all the Harden generations: the men and women who worked in this factory under the supervision of Greg Harden, were, in most cases, the third and fourth generation of their families to have worked there. I have spoken to a few who are proud to have the claim that their great grand parents worked there in the early years of Harden. A kitchen chair, (if you can find one) is of great value and I would give anything to own one. Today I keep my eyes open for them in stores just like yours.
    The passing of Harden is the passing of an era that will never return. Those who took pride in family and tradition, our clients, are a generation gone by. I find it so very sand and a tremendous loss to our country.

    1. Sandy, Thank you for sharing your beautiful experiences with us! It really is a treat to hear from someone who worked so closely with Harden for so many years. We are all saddened of the news of Harden, but at least we can take comfort that there are still so many who will remain loyal to the brand and can impart their knowledge and experiences as eloquently as you have. I know my clients see and feel the difference in the gently used Harden pieces in our shop. I only wish I had the first-hand knowledge and experience you did with the owner and craftsmen of this great American company. Thank you again for reading and for your thoughtful comment.

    2. I was fortunate to work at Harden for nearly 45 years. I still have a couple of pieces that I cherish. I worked in the woodshop, and helped create many of the pieces that found homes throughout the world.

    3. Just read your comments – in March 1980, my future husband, Bob, purchased a Harden dining table, four chairs and china cabinet ($2608.66) I opted for dining room furniture instead of an engagement ring. At the time we lived in Buffalo and purchased the furniture at F. scherer & Sons on Genesee Street. My future husband used his GI educational benefits to buy the furniture. We were just starting our careers and did not have much. 40 years later we still have our beautiful pieces and over the years we added more beautiful pieces to our collection. By the way we have lived in six different homes and lived in different states. Years ago, I wanted to buy more Harden and found out sadly that they were no longer in business. Our furniture has lasted – it is still beautiful. Not sure if my children will want the furniture or can really appreciate its lasting beauty and durability. Yesterday I was going over very old furniture bills. I was going to throw out the Scherer receipts and the Harden catalog which I still have. After reading your comments, I have decided to keep the receipts and catalog. Nostalgia is good.

  49. Heart breaking, to say the least. We were finally in a position to purchase Harden products and this happens! We are terribly sorry for the folks who made their living from providing the best of the best.
    We never buy anything that is not US made! Why give money to the Chinese, who in reality are the enemy.
    The Mexicans pour across our border and the taxpayer’s pay to feed, cloth and try and educate these felons!

    Very sad.

    1. Hello, my mother is downsizing and is looking to find a buyer that would cherish her Harden formal dinning set and formal living room pieces, as she has aince my early childhood. It is all in impeccable condition. Let me know if you would like to make contact. We are located in PA.
      Thank you!

    2. Hi Amy, sure. Please send photos, location and price to We respond to all inquiries within 1-2 weeks. Thank you!

    3. Hello,
      I have an expandable dining table but I’m missing the leaf(s). Looking to buy.

    4. HI there Belen! Since Harden is no longer in business, your best bet is to go to a custom cabinetmaker in your area to make the table leaves. (It might get pricey though, so you may also want to check about replacing the entire table, believe it or not…) Best of luck with your Harden dining table!

  50. I have to find a home for my Harden living room tables. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Margie! Sure, we have an entire article devoted to selling furniture. Please feel free to start there for the basics. (Here is the link: )
      Harden made great furniture. As long as they are in great condition, I don’t think you will struggle too much in finding your end tables a home.
      Best of luck with them!
      Rachel LaBoheme

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *