I have a chest of drawers with a maker's mark reading Northern Furniture Company of Sheboygan Wisconsin. Inside the circle mark is the capital letter R. My research of the company has been spotty as it seems to have changed ownership a few times. Can you give me some idea as to when this mark was used and whether or not my piece has any real value? It is in great condition aside from a little wear showing around the edge of the top. Thanks for your help, Kim
Answer Kim - The chest is from the Depression era of the 1930s. The wood on the drawer fronts is stump cut walnut veneer. Stump cut or butt cut walnut was the most decorative veneer used in the Depression era of the 1920s and 1930s when your chest was made. Stump cut veneer is cut from the stump of a walnut tree below ground level where the grain pattern is very confused and erratic.
The drawer pulls are appropriate for the period.
I do not know what the "R" logo stands for.
Northern Furniture made adequate furniture for the period but it is not collector grade. The chest would sell at auction in the $75 range. If you have an offer for $150 take it.
Thanks for writing and thanks for the extra photos.
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 www.furnituredetective.com
Education/Credentials BSBA Finance, University of Florida, MBA Finance, University of Florida