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Antique Furniture/Berkey & Gay


QUESTION: This dresser was handed down to me.  It is in rough shape and I am wondering if it is worth it to restore it.  If it is where do I find a good restoration craftsman in my area.  It has the Berkey & Gay furniture plate inside the top drawer.  Several of the drawer pull plates are missing which look like Bakelite.  Any advice is much appreciated.

ANSWER: where are you located

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Southern California

So is it worth refinishing?  What do you think it is worth and how much do you think it would cost to refinish?

i asked where you are located to see if I knew a restorer there to help you.  I do not know prices for restoration in your area.  Here depending on the condition it is in I would charge between 750 and 1150 but I cannot tell the condition in the photo.  refinishing is more than just doing the surfaces, all aspects of the piece must be evaluated to determine the course of action.

are the drawers tight
do they move smoothly
is the case tight or does it have some wobble
are all the veneered surfaces sound, secure and flat
do you have the missing hardware or will replacements need to be located
do you want it to be returned to the original coloring with the painted double columns (should be)

what is the fair market value in the photo;
what is the fair market value once restored;
it will be worth the cost of the restoration

i think what it get to is how much do you like it and who it came from to you.

it is a nice piece in a classic and elegant style.  Berkey and Gay built good furniture and were one of the top three manufactures in  Grand Rapids back in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  

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robert klein


Regarding American antique, vintage, and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing. Please read instructions for posting.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of American antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars through several organizations.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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