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Antique Furniture/grand rapids dresser


QUESTION: Hi! I ppurchased this dress dresser for $75. Ilove it! The finish a appears to have been redone, but it's in very badshape currently. (Peeling, chipping)  There is a round metal medallion on the inside of the top left drawer that states Royal Furniture Co Grand Rapids,MI. From the research I've done, I believe it to be from around 1914-1919?? I plan to refinish it. I thought it was a buffet until I searched around it and found the holes where a mirror would have attached. I do not have the mirror. Can you tell me an approximate value? Also type of wood? The wood visible where the current finish is coming off is very light...almost like birch but not sure if that's a wood ever used? I do have the castor wheels and the missing wooden applique pieces. Thank you so much!

ANSWER: the inside of the drawers in mahogany.  if you use the followup function and post a clear and close picture of the other wood grain i may be able to help there.

yes, birch was used extensively in furniture as was tulip poplar and sweet gum.

the value in the condition shown is what you paid, the refinished value depends on how good of a job you do.  well done makes it 450 poorly done--much less.  Painted or stained and clear coat, either will make it to the 450 number as long as it is well done.

i would love to see the completed pictures.

you are correct on the date, both the style and the label tell us that.

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QUESTION: It's not letting me attach an image? Do I need to delete one of the previous images?

ANSWER: you should not have to delete a picture if you are using the follow up function which I see that you are.

All I can say is make sure you go all the way through the menu when attaching the new image as there's a button to submit or go button down towards the end let me know what happens thank you so much

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close-up of wood
close-up of wood  
QUESTION: Ok, let's try this again. Here is a close-up of the wood under the chipping paint. Does the type of wood used affect thevalue? Not just in this  piece specifically, but in general? Thanks!

In general the type of wood affects the value.  For example some woods are considered 'paint grade', that might not mean that gum or poplar or birch is paint grade but that the selected piece of wood is paint grade.  when you buy lumber, or when anyone buys lumber, some is clear with a flat sawn grain, riff sawn grain, or quarter sawn grain (ant other designations), whereas another might be a flat sawn grain but the wood is notty or has other flaws or defects than make it not number 1 grade.  that then would be paint grade.

With me, no wood is junk wood.  Furniture has been manufactured with all sorts of woods.
At the top of the list would be, mahogany, walnut, oak, birch, poplar, gum, maple, and the list goes on and on.  

The top in your last picture is almost too distant to see the grain lines but it looks line a mahogany grain.  The rest of the piece may or may not be the same wood.  Mixed woods is common on painted and non painted woods, but becasue the inside of the darawers is mahogany and mahogany veneer i suspect that it is all mahogany.  

if stripped clean and I mean very clean it and if it is all mahogany or even all birch, i would like to up my estimate of the retail value, if a good to excellent job is done, to a retail of 650.
hope i have addressed you question.  anything else please use the followup function.

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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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