Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Borax or No?


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I am far from an expert in wood and antique furniture, but I initially believed this vanity/dressing table to be from the 19th century and fairly valuable since it is very solid wood and obviously hand carved with a lot of detail.. Someone recently told me it was just Borax furniture. Could you shed some light on this piece?

I have only been in the business since 1969 and this is the very first time I have heard of the line of less expensive furniture made in the 30s referred to as 'borax furniture'.  Someone had very likely extrapolated this term from the Larkin furniture (larkin desk sound familiar?) as it predated 'borax terminology'.
read here

Regardless, i am going to do more research on the term as I have found a few articles from the late 1930-50 using the term, well actually the term doesn't see to appear until after the furniture was in full production and in homes and become used.

Anyhow, whoever told you that your desk is of that nature was mistaken.  Very mistaken.  you r desk if of high quality in the Chippendale style made between 1920-40 in mahogany veneers and skillfully machine assisted hand carvings.

It is in need of PROPER restoration and the bale on the pull in the middle drawer of the left hand bank of drawers is facing the wrong way.  it must have come off at some time and been put on backwards.

Properly restored this desk would sell in a shop at 650 to 750 minimum, but only if restored properly.


Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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robert klein


In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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