Age of Cedar Chest?

March 7, 2022

Age of cedar chest. Lane cedar chest, serial number 112128.



March 11, 20220 found this helpful
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Your Lane cedar chest is from 1928.

Usually it is possible to determine the production date by read the serial number of Lane cedar chests backwards: the last two or one digit in backwards is the day, then two or one digit in backwards is the month, then two digits in backwards is the year, then there may be an additional digit (first digit in the serial number) - the plant location. But this rule does not always work. It is impossible to read the serial number of your Lane cedar chest backwards, so the year is the last two digits, but not backwards 28 - 1928.

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September 19, 2022

I inherited this Lane Cedar Chest about 22 years ago. Unfortunately I had to have someone store it for me for about 3 years and when I was able to retrieve it the condition was not the same. Originally in excellent beautiful condition. Now not so much.A cedar chest with small legs.


I have been trying to find out more about this and am confused by the date. If I read this correctly the SN 112230 would translate to constructed date of March 22, 1911. Does this seem possible. My mother-in-law was the most loving and honest woman I ever knew. I know she would not have allowed anything to be altered but the stamped SN looks darker that Style #48636S. Also, have seen info that seems to say this date is too early for Lane. Measurements are 48 W x 23 D x 19 H

I have also not been able to locate this style anywhere so far. Haven't seen a similar chest with the very plain box style and raised elegant feet. I'd love to know more about it since I am forced to move and not sure I can take this with me. If I am forced to part with it can't figure out if it is worth having restore or selling as is.

The carved leg of a cedar chest.
The open cedar chest.
The style and serial number on a cedar chest.
Insurance paperwork with a cedar chest.


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September 19, 20220 found this helpful

Lane started making the chests in 1912. The number wouldnt make sense then. Here is the address where you could contact them directly and get an answer.

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September 19, 20220 found this helpful

Edward Hudson Lane (18911973) founded the company in 1912 (in Altavista, Campbell County)
So your chest couldn't have been made in 1911, perhaps March 2, 1921 and 1 is the plant number.


Lane used more than one serial-number system. Contact Lane Furniture directly

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September 20, 20220 found this helpful

I found very similar Cedar Chest by Lane Furniture, but dark veneered:

This one looks similar too:

Sold for $45.

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September 21, 20220 found this helpful

Lane Company cedar chests, also called a "hope chest," were made from 1912 until the company closed in 2001 (89 years). They were made in a variety of styles. The year that a Lane Company cedar chest was made and the style are two of the main factors for determining its value.


Serial number of your Lane cedar chest is 112230, style #48636S.
Serial number holds clue to age of Lane cedar chest. Lane Cedar Chest serial numbers are dated in reverse, for example, if the chest's number is 2865150, so the production date is 05-15-68, or May 15, 1968. Sometimes there is an extra digit that indicates the plant where the chest was made - 2 in this example. But it seems that this rule does not always work. 1911 cannot be the year your chest was made.
Your chest is made in Queen Anne style. Lane made chests in Queen Anne style in the 1920s-1930s.
So I think the number should not be read backwards. SN 112230 means November 22 1930. I think in 1930 Lane Cedar Chest serial numbers are dated not in reverse. Here is an identical Lane Vintage Cedar Chest made in 1933:


It has the serial #335280, style #48636x.

Most Lane cedar chests, on average, are valued between $150 and $400.

Identical Lane Cedar Chest was sold for $151 (26 bids)

Another identical Lane Queen Anne Style Cedar Lined Chest was sold for $171.22 (42 bids)

Similar vintage Cedar Chest sold for $115 (20 bids)

Lane Flame Mahogany with Inlays Blanket Chest with Cedar Lining from 1933 is listed at $1,475

Chests manufactured up to 1987 include a lock that catches and locks shut automatically when the lid closes. This led to the deaths of children. Many people have removed the locks from the chests, but there are still about 6 million chests that do not have the safety locks installed. Chests with the original locks may have a different value from those without them. If the lock hasn't been replaced, do so immediately or remove the lock for safety's sake.


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September 25, 20220 found this helpful

If you are asking about value in the present condition, I would say approximately $25-$50. Anyone buying it would be someone who wishes to restore it or use it to store 'stuff' in their garage. I cannot see anyone buying this to use in their home (in its present condition).
However, your location will probably determine the final value as these are too costly to ship.
Your area may be where people have extra room for a chest but most areas are filled with apartments and have mostly people who tend to move a lot and do not want something like this to lug around.


The only way to know for sure is to list it for sale with best offers considered to see if anyone is interested. Start with a higher price and lower it if no one shows an interest.
it would be costly to have it restored and you may not be able to sell it for even that cost. Also, if time is of the essence then a yard sale may be your best choice as these are not usually fast sellers.

The legs show this as a Queen Ann style. This chest seems to be very close to the style of yours and sold for $115 in 2020 (Ohio). It appears to be in pretty good condition.

You may be able to find useful information on one of these sites/links.

The serial numbers do not always follow the rule of reading the numbers backwards but I've been informed that Lane may answer your question if ALL you ask is about the date and include your serial number. Try it - just numbers.

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November 23, 2018

I am restoring this Murphy chest for a gift and wondering what year it was made.


Determining the Age of a Murphy Cedar Chest - chest in the garage
Determining the Age of a Murphy Cedar Chest


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November 25, 20180 found this helpful

I know more about the Lane's than the Murphys. If I remember correctly, they made the chest from the late 1940s to the early 2000s, and I believe the company is still around.

Perhaps they can help you understand their numbering system. Most numbering systems I am familiar with the last 2 digits are the if that is the case here, this would be from 1973, I have not found anything to prove that with the Murphy's however.

This is the contact info I found:

Please post back what you learn!! I am very curious!! Always looking to learn more about neat old items!! Thanks!

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November 25, 20180 found this helpful

This looks to me like it was made in the 1940s. Make sure any restorations do not take any value away from the piece.

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November 26, 20180 found this helpful

I'm not sure of the year this chest was made but I agree that it seems to be a style from the 40-50s because the heavy ornamental styles changed to more simple lines in the 60s and later.

I have seen Murphy cedar chests in older catalog advertisements from the 60s and the chests were very plain.

There is very, very little information about the Murphy Manufacturing Co available - not even on Wikipedia - so dating these chests may have to be done from personal knowledge or from older company catalogs that are sometimes found on eBay.

  • Everyone likes to state the company is still in business and from the ads on the Internet that show this company's "profile" it would seem so.
  • However, these ads seem to be from companies trying to sell their business ads or some other reason and are never verified by anyone from this company.
  • Also, there are two addresses shown (different sites) and two telephone numbers given for the company.
  • In the past and as late as today, I have tried to verify these numbers as belonging to the company to no avail.
  • One address: 1003 15th Street W. has number: 205-221-5340 and this number is not in service (same response as last year). This address also shows number: 205-384-6723 which rings but no answer.
  • Second address: 1604 n 10th Ave with same number 205384-6723 - no answer over several days.
  • I cannot believe a company is still in business that does not answer their telephone so I hope that if someone can verify this business still exists they would post a reply so we would know how to answer Murphy cedar chest questions in the future.
  • There have been a lot of questions asked on ThriftyFun in the past so you may check some on the answers from past postings. There is one comment from a Murphy family member about the company. (The comment about the numbers relating to the year of manufacturer is not true for Murphy chests.)
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