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Question
Vanity Front
Vanity Front  

Vanity Post Metal Disk
Vanity Post Metal Disk  
I'm trying to remove the mirror support from a 1940s wood vanity. I see a metal disk underneath each post that seems to be the key, but I can't figure out how. Can you help?

Also, I'm thinking of painting this, but may just polish it and let it ride. I'm assuming it has no significant value, but will you confirm so I don't paint something precious. Thanks for your help!

The back is stamped:
Oct. 9-41-P
NO. A. 7228 L.B DR.
MHG VENEER.

Answer
Jamesia - Your vanity is a Colonial Revival reproduction of a Federal style piece of the early 1800s. It of course was made in 1941 of mahogany veneer over secondary woods. The oval drawer pulls are called Hepplewhite pulls. George Hepplewhite was an English designer whose work was popular in the United States in the late 1700s and early 1800s Federal period. He is best known for his design of the oval drawer pulls of the period that bear his name.

The metal disk is threaded in the middle and holds a threaded rod attached to the mirror frame. To remove the disk insert a slim screwdriver into one of the notches in the disk rim. Then tap with a hammer turning the disk to the left side to unscrew it. There should be a disk on each side so work both of them at the same time a little at a time. Take your time. The disks have been in place for over seventy years so they may be stubborn to start with.

Before painting I suggest your try to clean it up. If you don't like the result you can always go back and paint it.  The basic care of furniture in relatively good condition includes cleaning with mineral spirits (paint thinner to remove old dirt, wax and oil – no it won’t hurt the existing finish, different chemistry). After wiping down with spirits allow the piece to dry overnight. After removing all hardware apply a thin coat of paste wax, BriWax or Howard’s works well. Use tinted wax to enhance the color. After that dry dust only or use Swiffer dusters. Reapply wax once a year. Do not use any other polish and do not use products that contain oil of any sort or silicone.

Good luck. 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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