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Antique Furniture/julius garfinckel furniture


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QUESTION: I purchased a 2.5' x 2.5' square folding table. It is the size of a card table but reminds me of a dinner tray due to the leg bar slides down to make it flat to store. There is an emblem underneath that reads "expressly made for Julius Garfinckel and co. .. washington- paris". I have searched online concerning the Garfinckel department store but am finding limited info. Would love to know more about the table before i refinish it. Thank you.

ANSWER: Looking at my notes I would say that since they did not sell household goods in their stores, this table was a display table for goods sold in the store.  At one time they had several stores.  the one in DC was quite large, 7 or 8 floors.

if you intend to refinish I would say not to be aggressive.  at most, a gentle cleaning of the old degraded coating followed by proper application of an appropriate stain and coating.

what is your experience in refinishing?

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QUESTION: My experience is moderate (not a master finisher). I have refinished a few pieces and built some furniture for our home. I am currently in the process of refinishing a 1920s singer sewing table and the above mentioned piece. It was purchased at a Habitat for Humanity Restore for $20 and was curious about its label & history if any. Is there any way to find out more about this table? Cost? Thank you for your time and assistance.

truthfully there is no more to find out unless you want to post a closeup picture of the wood for species identification.

It is a merchandising table although portable in nature.  you can see similar tables if you look iat pictures of early stores.

what coatings are you suing on your finishing?  what stains.

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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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They deserve privacy, sorry.

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