The cost of traditional reupholstery from the frame is sometimes considered high and is certainly more than upholstery using modern foams and zig-zag springs. It does, however, represent incredibly good value for money.
Upholstered furniture manufactured before about 1940 was generally of significantly better quality than that manufactured today. The frames will undoubtedly be hardwood and will have been properly and traditionally made using mortice and tenoned joints, glue and screws - rather than inappropriate giant staples and joints made from thin dowels.
The value, unless very old and with good provenance, of upholstered furniture, is largely based on the cost of re-upholstery. You could purchase a reasonable quality new sofa from a reputable manufacturer these days at a comparable price, but the standard of frame and especially upholstery does not compare at all.
Traditionally upholstered furniture, capably carried out, ought to last at least 30 years - you'd be lucky to get 10 from a good quality contemporary piece.
Our upholsters use traditional techniques lost to most modern-day tradesmen and specialise in the use of horsehair and hand-stitched edges.