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Antique Furniture/Chippendale Style dresser


Chippendale dresser 001
Chippendale dresser 00  
QUESTION: The dresser has all drawers & brasses (but missing some of the bails). It is all man made with no machines used.  It has 3 same size lower drawers and one larger top drawer. No drawer glides, stops, or wood between the drawer slots inside the dresser. All the dovetails are irregular sizes, including on the top. There is obvious planeing of the wood. The back is beveled and planed. Chippendale style feet and brasses. The brasses are obviously old with pitted backs & different colors in the brass. The pulls have the word "England" stamped in them on the back. I would like to know the age, type of wood, apx. value and anything else you could tell me. Thank you so much for your help.

ANSWER: you will have to send, to my email address, as attachments many pictures.

full view front side and rear

outside of the side of one drawer where the side meets the front so i can see the dovetails

a picture of the underneath of the drawer, taken from the rear of the drawer with it upside down on a table

a picture of the interior where the drawers go

close picture of the back of the drawer front

close picture of the died where the drawer divider fits into the side

pictures of the underneath of the chest and of the top of the chest

all clear and in focus
as attachments to one email, one please.

may ask for more after seeing these and make sure you include the post in its entirety.  


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


QUESTION: I couldn't get pics to go through so I am sending 2 here and 4 more in my email.

Thank you for the pictures, I have requested a few more and will be able to be more specific once I can see those.

much appreciation.

wanted to add this from the email i sent to you as we know others will be following this thread.  and, we arent done, will keep looking at photos and hope you will send more.

I appreciate all the photos, more the better as it makes it easier to see everything.  these things tell a story from the time they were built seeing the tool marks and whether or not it was done in a hurry or by a novice or journeyman and how things may have been altered and to speculate on why.

pic 1, those are not chisel marks, those are from a band saw.  also I see on the inside of a couple of legs where the boards were run through a thickness planer.  now that doesn’t made it newer so much since they had these in the early and mid-1800s just like someone telling you that a circular saw blade mark dates something after 1850—it DOES NOT—since circular saws were advertised in Holland in the 17th century.  We have to remember that what we call machinery is different than machinery 2-300 years ago.  They had water power to move tools.  Remember, machines were made and went up and down and round and round, unlike the hand.  

Looking at the wood in one of the pictures taken from behind the foot it looks like someone cut something at one time.  I have been trying to see any outlines of old glue blocks, which there are.  normally glue blocks would not have nails, the ones with the round head nails are certainly later than when this was first built.  the dovetails in the top and bottom of the case fit tight, tighter than the drawers, so I am guessing two different people worked with this.

The hardware has been changed but it was a long time ago as evidenced by the color of the wood and multiple holes.

That this was handmade is obvious with the dovetailing and the wide boards, I do not see this as being from the mid-18th century.
It is most likely from the mid-19th century at the earliest.  The wood looks like cherry grain and the reddish stain is normal on mid 19th century rural made pieces.  We used to call it berry juice stain but I don’t really know what it was made from.  I do know that old walnut stain was made by boiling walnut hulls.  

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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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