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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Berkey and Gay furniture

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Question
Berkey and Gay buffet
Berkey and Gay buffet  

label
label  
I was given this piece, and am trying to find any information about it. I'm not sure whether to call it a buffet or sideboard. I was told it was mahogany. From the research I've done, the red triangle label means it was made before 1905. However, I cannot find any other pieces like it made by Berkey and Gay. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Answer
Olivia - You have done some good research and you are mostly correct. The red triangle, the GRM (Grand Rapids Made) mark, was adopted by the Grand Rapids Furniture Manufacturers Association in 1899 and appeared on every piece made by a member from 1899 to about 1913. That helps narrow the date but the clincher is the B&G mark itself.

From around 1875 to 1905 B&G used a variety of marks and labels to identify its products ranging from chalk marks to typed white cards pinned to the backs of pieces. In 1905 it adopted the familiar concentric circle logo that was used, with minor variations, until the company closed for good in 1948.

Thus 1899-1905 sounds like a very good date for your piece. It is a mixture of Colonial Revival (Chippedale) style and Art Nouveau, the new style of the period. Art Nouveau is identified by the nonlinear lines and the organic carving. The piece is a "server" used as an adjunct sideboard for extra storage and serving space.

It does appear to be mahogany which would be consistent with the time period but the photo is not quite clear enough to be sure. Hard to put a value on it without seeing better photos but I would expect it to sell at auction in the $200-$300 range.

Thanks for writing.

Fred Taylor

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Fred Taylor

Expertise

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.

Experience

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 www.furnituredetective.com

Education/Credentials
BSBA Finance, University of Florida, MBA Finance, University of Florida

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