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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Karges Chest on Chest Circa 1957-1965


Karges Metal Plaque
Karges Metal Plaque  
QUESTION: What is current Market & Retail Values for my Chest on Chest?
(I have more photos I could send if you like)

Here is what I know about it:

Hand Crafted by Karges in America

Walnut Exterior Wood & Oak Secondary Wood
Minor Damages shown in photos
Original Finish and Hardware
Original Feet
Full Dove Tail Construction Drawers
4 Drawer Top Chest
4 Drawer Bottom Chest

This is one piece of furniture – the chests do not come apart
I sent the photos to Karges and they were able to verify what is that it was made by Karges.

Overall Dimension
40” Wide by 54” Tall

Top Chest
37-1/2” Wide - 14” Tall - 14” Deep (Front to Back)

Bottom Chest
40” Wide – 40-1/2” Tall – 18-1/2” Deep

But, they would not give me an estimate as to its value.
However, they are still in business and their custom made Chests sell $3,500 –$6,000 & up

ANSWER: Although you will see used and new items for sale at high prices does not mean it is selling for that or that it is worth it.  so use caution in making your determinations.

True they are a good company but dont think they have men all over hand making items.  it it machine assisted hand work.  a process that has been in use and operating since 1860s.  yes there is some hand chisel dressing on some items when there is heavy carving.  Karges doesnt use a machine that they can throw boards into and come out with a glued up drawer.  Not trying to be funny but in the late 1880s there was a huge machine where a worker precut boards, ran them through a machine and an assembled drawer came out the other end.  Makes you wonder where all that American technology went--overseas perhaps--but not Karges although they do buy some parts and other elements overseas all assembly and important craftsmanship in here at home.

the french provincial style chest you have is very nice, this was highly popular in the 50s and 60s.  most was painted so it actually thrills me to see one unpainted.  The wood may be walnut but I suspect cherry but walnut is feasible.  hard to tell in a photo.  It is pristine condition so my congrats to whoever was the caretaker the last 60 years.  items like this will be the antiques of the future.

The fair market value on your piece would vary depending on location and buyer or if for insurance replacement.

In a resale store or antiques mall of medium quality items as most are, price would be insulting, about 550.  no where what it would cost to replace.  Just to refinish a similar item would cost 800-850 in my shop, lower and higher in others.

Sold to someone who actually knew what it was or that wanted to fill out a set, 950, to have one built to match 2000.

hope this helps

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

QUESTION: This helped me immensely!!

1) Would you recommend placing it on consignment in an Antique Store?

2) What would be a good consignment Price?

I am not sure what percent consignment shops get, but I believe it to be 40%-50%.
So, to end up getting close to the $550 value, should I ask $1,100? That seems a little steep.

3) Would it be better to find an auction house, or list it on Craig’s List?  

I really appreciate your advice and time. Very happy I did not have to pay $200 for an appraisal and cut my profit further.

Thank You so much – Respectfully,

That is the problem with consignment.  You have to overprice items to get anything!  A trap that some are not aware of since you have to price low for them to make their money.  However, a high end consignment store can do this and everyone wins.

craigs list is an option, price it at whatever knowing they will want it for less.

auction house will get 20-30% and it is a gamble.  even if you say a minimum, if it sells you have nothing to say but thanks.

where are you located.

appraisals are good for the appraisers since they get paid to give you fluffy pricing that is a disservice.

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robert klein


In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

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

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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