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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/scholles chicago cabinet/secretary


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Inherited this piece from my great aunt, have been told it's worth something. Can you tell me the year it was made, what you would call this piece if you were to try to sell, the type of wood and if the paint is original, and the value.  Thank you!

Kathy - The cabinet is called a breakfront secretary. It is a Colonial Revival reproduction of a Chippendale era piece of the late 1700s.

Henry Scholle was a cabinetmaker from Cincinnati who teamed up with Jacob Wirtz in Chicgao in 1879 to form Wirtz and Scholle. They were primarily retailers but made some upholstered furniture and made a dining set for the former mayor Chicago in the 1880s. By the Depression era the company was simply called Scholle's of Chicago and was strictly a retailer.

Your cabinet is from the late 1940s to mid 1950s. Without a close personal inspection it is impossible to determine the type of wood under the paint. The paint job appears to be original. If it is not original it was a very expensive, professionally done repaint.

It would sell at auction in today's market in the $300-$500 range.

Thanks for writing.

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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