Determining the Age of Vintage Furniture?

Determining the age of vintage furniture will either require getting a formal appraisal or investing time into researching the piece yourself. Working on-line is a good choice. Identifying the maker, place of manufacture, etc. will also help. Read on for some helpful tips for determining the age of your vintage furniture.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

How old is this Lou Regester lingerie chest? We purchased it from someone who said it was from the 1950s or 1960s. The label on the inside drawer says Lou Regester, but no place where it was made nor model number. However, I am from the Phoenix, Arizona area and saw that there was a company based in Phoenix and Tucson, so the dresser could have been made here.

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July 1, 20200 found this helpful
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Apparently this company made furniture in your area starting in 1948 but was probably small and never made it big. It seems they went into selling furniture (may have started with their own pieces) and still have at least one store.

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Survey sites show they have 1-5 employees with an annual sales of $500,000 - small company.
It's possible you could contact the store and see if anyone works there that knows anything about their original furniture.
Here are some links that have a little information - telephone numbers and addresses.

www.arizonacorporates.com/.../70431.html

start.cortera.com/.../

This site just shows they belong to a group of furniture companies.

www.furnitureworld.info/.../lou-regester

This is interesting - doors?

www.facebook.com/.../

You may be able to place some sort of value by searching other similar lingerie chest on eBay or Etsy (and other sites).
It probably was from the 50-60's so search for similar age pieces (mid-century) as that seems about when these were popular.

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You really need to find some sold pieces but that may not happen as eBay is about the only site that shows sold items.
The condition and your area will determine a large part of the value as you will have to sell it as pick up only and people in your area may be into this type or totally not interested.
All you do is try - list it for sale on several sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, offerup, letgo and any others you know of. Show several pictures with measurements and approximate age. Start your price high - $250- $400 and see if anyone is interested - if not - lower the price.
List it on several sites and maybe you'll get lucky.

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July 2, 20200 found this helpful
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I love learning so thanks for sharing this!

If the resources cybergrannie don't get you where you need to go to value and date this piece--I have two suggestions...

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1. There is a Facebook group that looks like it has ties to the original family. The link is:

www.facebook.com/.../

2. It looks like a member of the original family has a LinkedIn page:

www.linkedin.com/.../john-regester-8015a7121?challengeId...

They may be able to help you.

Furniture values are so regional and subjective, but since this piece is unusual and it seems that the company has an interesting history for your town, you may find there are other ways to share it--like if it is a good example, there may be an opportunity to have a local museum buy the piece (or if you are so inclined) donate it and get a tax right off if you can.

I suggest the latter because my family and I have donated a lot of items to the local Heinz History Center in my city. It is so exciting when we can go (pre COVID) and see things when they are displayed!! Plus when there is history involved, it is so amazing to share!

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Post back what you learn!

Thanks for the post!

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I bought this sofa, cleaned it up, applied beeswax to the wood and really want to know how old it is. It is very heavy, with original tapestry. The scrolling hardwood is beautiful and detailed.

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January 22, 20201 found this helpful
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This is a beautiful piece! If you can't find the makers's detail, try looking at ebay's Brocade Sofas, Loveseats & Chaises category.

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It might be worth $500 or more!

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April 12, 2018

I have inherited my grandmother's sofa and cannot identify what era it is. It weighs about 700 pounds and I can't really flip it over. I'm about to reupholster it and I'm trying to find out what it would've looked like originally. Please help me save my dear little grandmother's sofa and at least find out what it is.

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April 12, 20180 found this helpful
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First - it would be a very bad idea to change this sofa from the original before you find out the true value as changing ANYTHING could reduce the value by half or more. Of course, that all depends on the value and if you or anyone ever decides to sell the sofa.

  • Reupholstering would change/ruin the complete sofa for anyone who would be willing to pay "big" money as that just reduces it to an ordinary sofa.
  • Only a person dealing in antiques could tell you anything about your sofa.
  • If you decide to take pictures to an antique shop be sure to take better photos of the legs and front and ends as these are the distinctive marking of furniture.
  • You will also need photos of the condition of the sofa as well as cushions.
  • You would also need to know if any alterations have been done in the past as well as any time frame that your grandmother may have purchased the sofa and where she was living at the time (place of purchase - city/store/price paid).
  • Gather as much information as possible - even if you cannot prove it.
  • You can also seek several on-line appraisals to help you with your quest.
  • Here are some sites that offer "free" appraisals but check them out for yourself.
  • www.artifactcollectors.com/.../
  • antiques.lovetoknow.com/Free_Antique_Appraisals_Online
  • Here is a link to Barneby's but they charge $17 for an appraisal.
  • www.barnebys.com/.../

Even if you plan to keep this sofa, you should know the value just in case you need to add it to your insurance policy.

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June 29, 2020

I bought this folding camp table and chairs at a shop in northern Kansas this week. I think it is super cool. I was hoping to get more information about it, possibly age, value, and more info on the manufacturer. I tried Googling and didn't find much of anything.

Thanks in advance.

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June 30, 20200 found this helpful
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I believe this Wayne MFG Co was a small business that maybe made these outfits and perhaps other similar wood products as there is no mention of this company even in the St.Louis, MO archives (that I could find). The only mention of this exact name was in a book and the indication was referring to 'washing machines'.

I have some small companies in my area that make items and use a stencil like this to put their name on the pieces.

I can tell you that it was made after 10/1963 as that is the date the post office started using 2 letters for state abbreviations.

Value? Anybody's guess as there will not be anything to compare it with. There are vintage camp/camping tables and also similar chairs so you might research some of those (only sold pieces will give you a value) to come up with an approximate 'value'
Items like this are kinda like the products placed at the end of retail store aisles and in the check-out lane - called impulse buying - so almost any reasonable figure may be doable.
Didn't you buy this set on 'impulse buying' as I'm sure you were not shopping for a set like this.

I think it's possible the chairs were made by a different company and placed with the table and chairs will be more plentiful to find than an exact table. (Unless the chairs have the same marking?)
They are unusual as most folding chairs do not have the slates in the back like yours.

It's also possible the table was made as a portable work table and someone is calling it a "camp' table.
Considering it could have been used in the 30s-60s there were a lot of uses for a folding work table.

I do not know what you paid for your set but most likely I would have bought it if it was in my neighborhood.

Hopefully another member will check in and provide more details for your set.

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