Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Widdicomb vanity

Advertisement


Question
Vanity
Vanity  

Company logo
Company logo  
I purchased this Widdicomb vanity for $20 at a garage sale. I was going to paint it "Shabby Chic" until I realized the furniture brand name and the age of the piece. I will not ruin this antique piece of furniture by painting it "Shabby Chic". It has all 4 drawers and missing 2 knobs. It does need some TLC since the left side of the vanity is missing some of the veneer (?). I was going to restore it but then thought about selling it as is.... However, I want to make sure of the value before I make a decision. It has a date stamped behind one of the drawers as Aug 1925. What would be the approximate value in its current state? If I sell this vanity it would be through Craigslist. Thanks for your help.

Answer
Terry - The date of 1925 looks like a good date for this piece given the style and the logo. That logo with minor variations was used from 1903 to 1937. However, that date also means this piece is not an antique. It is "vintage." It was factory made and mass produced and in its current condition with missing veneer, missing hardware and serious wear and tear it would sell at auction for about what you paid for it. You certainly won't lose any value by customizing it. The rule of thumb in most 20th century furniture is that well done repair, refinish and restoration will improve both the appearance and current market value.

Thanks for writing.

Fred Taylor  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.