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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/John A. Colby & Sons


John A Colby Furniture
John A Colby Furniture  

John A Colby Furniture 2
John A Colby Furniture  
We inherited a bedroom set from my husband's aunt years ago.  There is a tag that says John A Colby & Sons Furniture, Chicago, IL in the drawer of the dresser.  I attached a picture of the dresser and mirror.  There is a tall dresser, bed and two night tables that all match.  Can you identify these for me?

Thank you for your help!

Carolynn - John A. Colby & Co, founded in 1879,  changed its name in 1884 to John A. Colby & Sons. It changed again in the mid 1940s to simply Colby's.

Your set a is Colonial Revival reproduction of Federal style furniture of the early 1800s. The set probably was made between the mid 1920s and mid 1930s but the mirror will be dated. Virtually all  20th century American plate mirror included in furniture is dated. The date is in dark gray on the gray side of the mirror glass itself. You will have to remove any paper or wood backing to see the back of the glass and the date. This is further explained and illustrated in my book “HOW TO BE A FURNITURE DETECTIVE” found on my website.  In some cases there is no date. This may be because the original mirror has been replaced, the mirror has been resilvered or the mirror was not made in the United States.

The set is made of mahogany veneer with satinwood banding.

By the time this set was made Colby & Sons had ceased manufacturing furniture and was a retailer for other manufacturers so without another label it is impossible to say who actually made this set. The set would sell at auction in the $500 range.

Thanks for writing.
Fred Taylor

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Fred Taylor


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

BSBA Finance, University of Florida, MBA Finance, University of Florida

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