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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Cigar humidor/smoke cabinet

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Front
Front  

Inside
Inside  
I picked this up at a local market sale this past weekend to use as a side table next to the reading chair.  I gave it a bit of TLC using Howard's Restore-A-Finish since the wood was pretty dry.

The top has water damage and a big crack (looks like someone kept a plant on it).  The inside of the cabinet is copper lined and comes with the original key and working lock.  The top drawer is in perfect condition.  There is artwork on the cabinet door, both sides and the drawer.  

I'd love to know about it - the usual how old it may be, value etc.  It's not for sale, I just love history.  :)

Answer
Noelle - Smoking stands were first popular around the turn of the century and then the popularity faded until the Depression. During the Depression of the 1930s many companies turned to the manufacture of small items to have something affordable to sell that people could afford to buy rather than entire sets of furniture. These items were called "novelties" and included things like magazine racks, hanging shelves, magazine and lamp tables and smoking stands. You can see a number of novelty items in the book "Furniture of the Depression Era" by Swedberg, Collector Books. http://www.amazon.com/Furniture-Depression-Era-Accessories-1920S/dp/0891453326/r

A stand with artwork on the front similar to yours is shown on page 47 of the book. It was made by Cushman in Vermont.

Your smoking stand is from the Depression era. It is made of a secondary wood called gum, often listed as "select hardwoods" and has been stained to look like walnut. The inside lining is not actually copper. Copper was too expensive in that period to use in such a manner. It is painted tin. I know the hard way. When working for a customer once one of my workers accidentally striped the inside to reveal bright tin. The customer didn't buy the story and I had to replace it with actual copper lining.

Stands like this in excellent condition sell for less than $100 at auction. The extent of the damage to the top will determine the value of yours.

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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