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Antique Furniture/Old Cedar Chest


Cedar Chest
Cedar Chest  
Stamp on Bottom
Stamp on Bottom  
QUESTION: ​​Hello!  I recently came across an old cedar chest my neighbor was about to toss! I have a couple questions if you might be so kind to give your opinion! There is no manufacturer seal/name/tag but there is a small black stamp on the bottom that says "B224" which is also handwritten on the bottom as well as on the bottom of the inside drawer.I'm really just interested in trying to find an age and/or some history on this chest. Thanks in advance!

ANSWER: you just picked up a fine chest, about 4-600 in a shop after some restoration.  by restoration i am not saying strip and refinish i am saying using a brown color Briwax and waxing the whole outside dn lightly sanding the interior.  dont try to polish the brass, leave it alone just wax it too.

the number is an inventory number or style number from whoever manufactured this in the 1910-30 time period.

would you use the followup function and post two more pictures, one of the bottom and one of the inside.


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

QUESTION: Good Morning Robert!
Thanks for the GREAT info, I love a good find! Here are the requested pictures, but real quick, before seeing your Briwax recommendation I had already purchased Minwax Finishing Wax, should I return that and find the Briwax? Also might you know where to find the tacks used for the straps, its missing just a handful and LASTLY I never mentioned it before but the chest had legs/feet, one was broken off completely so I carefully took off the other 3. I also have pics of those if you care to view!
Thanks again and sorry for all the questions!

ANSWER: I see where the feet were, i thought there might have been some.  Use hot hide glue to put them back on, they were probably a bracket foot type with a glue block where the two sides intersected.  Clean off all old glue before regluing or they will not stay.  use hot hide glue if you are its friend, if not titebond will do.

It wasnt made by Lane as they stamped serial numbers on theirs along with an interior label, yours did have a tray inside at one time.  since there were so many manufacturers making these I couldn't begin to say which made this one but be assured it was a good manufacturer probably around 1890-1910 which is when we see the brass sheets used on other furniture.

as to the missing brass tack heads, try WSI Distributors for tacks of that size.  When that doesn't work make some false heads out of wood, paint them to match to missing ones and glue them on with a spot of hot melt glue (the kind that gun in a glue gun).

Minwax is a good wax, I use dto use it until they stopped having the brown color but the neutral will work fine.  if you like you can take some out and use some artists oil colors from the tube like winston newton or grumbacher to color the wax a bit so it will color in any nicks.

This is a choice chest, if i had it in the shop, restored with the feet on I would price it at 650$.  as is with the feet on at 3-450.

hope this helps


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


Copper straps
Copper straps  
QUESTION: Morning!  Thanks again, today is the day I start my project!!  You had mentioned the chest having a tray, it does, I just took it out so you could see the full inside of the chest. And I do have just one more question if you don't mind... I am 99.1 percent positve that the straps are copper and the tacks are brass/copper plated. I did a couple different tests to come to that conclusion  If that is the case what does this change in regards to its age and how much it could possibly sell for?  


your test on the tacks was probably with a magnet.  Remember that the tack spike and head is probably iron but teh top is a sheet of bass over that.

now, the straps might be copper, that is not usually the case but remember that brass is as alloy of copper and zinc which is why some brass is yellow and some more red.  also, while cleaning brass sometimes it goes through the red to the yellow.  just a what if.  Might be they used copper and brass headed tacks for the contrast which shows again that it is a high stylish piece of the time and form.

the way to tell for sure is to scratch a place on eh strapping fairly deep to see if it is yellow or red like a new penny, actually an old new penny.

nothing changes.

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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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