Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Style, period info



I have had this piece for over 20 years.  It was purchased from an antique store. It is in excellent condition and measures 48l X 22w X 36h. A very heavy piece.  I think it is very old as it has what looks like handmade dovtails, original brass hardware and casters, turnip feet, etc. I am trying to see if you may have any information on when this piece was made and anything on its design.  I researched some of Sheratons designs, but I am stumped by the carved plume style motif and the beading across the bottom.  It is a very beautiful piece and has really never been used.

Any information you could help me with would be appreciated.

Thank you

Jennifer - While the cabinet is old it is not antique. It is from the Depression era of the 1930s. The dovetails look so ragged because they have been disassembled and repaired several times. They are machine made.

It is a Colonial Revival reproduction of a Federal period chest of the early 19th century. The drawer pulls, while reminiscent of the period, are pure Depression era stamped pulls.

The wood is walnut veneer. The plume pattern is a variation of the Prince of Wales plumes seen in both Hepplewhite and Sheraton chair backs. Here is a site with an example that matches your plume. It is the ninth example on the page.

The turnip foot style is a variation of the bun foot made popular in the William and Mary period. The bun foot with slender neck was used to give the appearance that a cabinet floated above the floor. A number of examples are shown here.

The turnip foot was a favorite of the Depression era because it could be machine turned on automatic lathes on stock made of glued up remnants. You can see that on the left front leg of your cabinet as indicated by the different colors of wood in the foot.

The beading across the bottom is simply turned bead molding made by splitting piece of ball turned wood. Bead molding was used extensively in the Federal period and carried over into Empire and Late Classicism of the mid century.

Sad to say the chest is a fairly ordinary example of the period and construction and would sell at auction in the $100 range.

Thanks for writing and thanks for the additional photos.

Fred Taylor  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Fred Taylor


I will attempt to answer questions about American antique furniture, including construction details, style, period, manufacturers, care, repair and storage. I do not have any background in appliances, musical instruments, sewing machines, trunks, lighting, clocks or children's and baby furniture and will not respond to questions about those items.


I ran an antique furniture restoration business for twenty years. I am a nationally syndicated columnist on the subject of antique furniture for such publications as Antique Week and New England Antiques Journal. I have produced one video on the subject of furniture identification and my book "HOW TO BE A FURNITURE DETECTIVE" is now available.I have also published articles in Antique Trader, Chicago Art Deco Society, Northeast Magazine, Victorian Decorating and Lifestyles, Professional Refinishing, Antiques and Art Around Florida and Antique Shoppe. You can visit my website at

BSBA Finance, University of Florida, MBA Finance, University of Florida

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