Identifying Vintage Furniture

Vintage furniture is technically furniture that is less than 100 years old. Determining the age of the piece if possible is a good first step. Check the underside for markings identifying a manufacturer, if none are found, more research on-line or via a vintage and antique dealer might be next. This page contains tips for identifying 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.

Who make this type of one piece? The mirror, frame, and console are one piece. The console has a marble top. The mirror below the console is beveled for those with princess feet to utilize.

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October 1, 20191 found this helpful
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Thanks for posting more photos! It looks like a Victorian Style Hall Tree. Depending on where you are located, unmarked pieces can sell for $500-$1000 in the right setting. These are very hard to find where I am so you would fetch more than in a place where there are lots of these.

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The best bet if you are not an experienced seller is to let an antique dealer or vintage shop either sell it for you or consign it for you. This way you will get the most exposure, most value, and you won't have to deal with the flakes and scammers on sites like Craig's List.

It is a lovely piece!! Post back how your sale goes!

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October 2, 20190 found this helpful
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Hi Sam, I wish I had a bigger house, this piece is lovely!!

Thanks for the better photos, especially the one of the back. If that back is particle board I will peg the mirror from the 50s OR repaired in the 50s as the older mirrors (40s and older) usually had real wood backs. Originally I had it pegged for the 1930s...but the back has me changing that (unless the back is not original).

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That said, I think you have a valuable piece. You said you are in CA so I would hope you could shop it around to a number of stores and get a decent price for it.

The furniture maker is going to be a tough one, especially if that is not the original back.

I am leaning to an Italian maker because of the lines of the carvings and the marble, although there were lots of US makers who used marble tops. That would have been a bear to come over on a ship, but if someone wanted it, they would have because that is what people did.

Please post back what your local expert gives you!! This is a super cool piece that would look amazing in a big house!!

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October 8, 20190 found this helpful
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Pghgirl40 Hello...Because of your positive curiosity, I actually discovered what it is I own and at some point, going to sell. My pieces is a....PULASKI HALL TREE Marble Top Beveled Mirror Stands 80" TALL X 38 1/2" WIDE X 13" DEEP MARBLE 22" WIDE X 11" DEEP.

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The Pulaski Furniture Company has a cool United States of America origin. You will have fun reading about the company. My piece was made in the 60's. I believe in the lovely state of Virginia. I will keep you posted as soon as I have someone chomping on the bit Thanks Again... Sincerely Sam

www.fundinguniverse.com/.../

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November 6, 2019

I have a desk/cabinet which is a dark wood. On the swinging front door, to the right, are 4 fleur de lis, one in each corner, and the carving of a woman's profile in the middle. I am wondering its origin. France I suppose.

A couple distinctions regarding this piece. First the hardware is slotted indicates age the back is wood with that hardware not staples. But it isnt very heavy which I thought it might be. The fleur de lis are copper or bronze stamped looked like carving. I picked it up from a couple on market place.

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November 7, 20190 found this helpful
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I think you have a (walnut or cherry) Livery Cupboard, which was a cabinet used to store alcohol (an early bar cabinet). It may be French, but it could be American or German made in the French style.

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Now is it a late 1700s to early 1900s piece...I am thinking probably early 1900s, but it would take someone who can see it in person and look at all of the details to confirm that for you. There are reproductions of these pieces so you will want to have it checked out by an expert. That you say it has a wood back and is heavy is a fairly good indicator it is an older piece, but still, my best suggestion is that you take this to a reputable antique dealer to help you confirm this, the age and value for your particular market. (All furniture sales are driven by the market in your town--including supply and demand).

If this is a true antique and in good shape, these can in some markets fetch into the mid $1,000 range in the right setting. If you do have a valuable piece like I think you may, you may even want to get it into an auction setting. NOT eBay, but a real auction where it gets good exposure. Most big cities have these kind of art house auctions. If you have more than one in your town, talk to them all before settling on one to run the sale.

Please post back what you learn!! Thanks for sharing this really nice piece!! Looking forward to hearing more on what you find out!

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November 7, 20190 found this helpful
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I believe you have a bar or liquor cabinet/cupboard but I'm not familiar with antique furniture so I just get an appraisal when I happen to need information.
I have found that local appraisers charge a set beginning fee and then charge according to the value of the item. That's not really fair but this is how many operate and the auction houses do not always have knowledgeable people and simply start prices at what they feel is good and sometimes have very knowledge about how to describe the item. If they get it appraised they will pass the fee on to you.
Now this does not describe all auction houses so you may have a really good one near you.
If you have some way to transport your item then this may be a good way to sell this cabinet.

You cannot find a similar cabinet to look for value as no two will ever be the same in style, condition, location to be able to compare.
I did find a couple that you can see are in the same 'style' and described as bar or liquor cabinet.

www.ebay.com/.../223601332651?hash=item340fad91ab...

www.ebay.com/.../303125578826?hash=item4693b1444a...

I am a very big fan of free online appraisals as I have had excellent results over a period of several years.
If you decide you would like to try one or two sites you will need good pictures (yours are a little dark) that show all features of the cabinet;
full front, also half and half (top and bottom), sides. back, legs, shelf, inside and top. Also tell where you are located, any information you have about the 'past' of this item, and measurements.
If this is a valuable piece, they will need all of this to give you a fair evaluation.
I hope you will consider this no matter what else you decide to do.

www.whatsellsbest.com/.../antiques.html

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October 7, 2019

I have a wardrobe and was recently asked if it's burl wood. How can I tell?

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October 7, 20191 found this helpful
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Sure does appear to be burlwood. The kind of wood it is, I don't know because burl wood is actually not a species of tree, but comes from several kinds as the tree's abnormal growth stage things change to create this look. It's a very expensive wood; you've got a keeper in my book! The wood is beautiful, artistic and serves a purpose.....I also did research on birdseye maple wood to see if there's any resemblance and I didn't see any. Burlwood is my final answer.

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October 9, 20190 found this helpful
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There is a whole wiki on what makes a burl pattern in woods en.wikipedia.org/.../Burl

It is a highly sought after "defect" and I believe yours is a burl pattern probably of walnut wood.

I can't touch or feel it, but the shine off it of it from the window makes me wonder if it a laminate/veneer and not a true wood burl...the burl pattern could be adhered to a veneer over a lesser wood.

This would make a huge difference if you are trying to sell it in the value as a true burl can fetch a lot in some markets, while a veneer may be almost impossible to sell.

Are you asking to value it? If so, I would need a lot more info, including a look see inside! Thanks!

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I bought this piece of furniture at a thrift store. It appears to be semi-homemade. I'm wondering if some of you with creative minds will tell me what you think this item was designed to be. There's storage space behind the little door. The top lifts up so you can put things inside. The drawer seems to be in an unusual place. I love the uniqueness of the item and am curious to see what ideas everyone has.

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September 28, 20190 found this helpful
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What a neat puzzle piece!! Very fun!!

The very bottom reminds me of an old fashioned Ice Chest (pre refrigerator).

The very top reminds me of a cabinet where you would open it for the record player.

The puzzle is the drawer. The drawer from nowhere!!

I will look for other posts with input!

Fun thing! Enjoy your treasure!

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September 28, 20190 found this helpful
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This is a very unusal piece and I am sure it was never sold in a store. It almost looks like a cabinet maker made this piece for his family or even a child's room. It is well crafted and very unique. It almost looks like it started off as a table and then they added the top section to this to use as a storage unit in a child's room.

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June 4, 2019

I recently found this piece and fell in love. It needs a little TLC. The seller thought it was from the 30s. Thank you in advance. Isn't she beautiful?

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June 4, 20190 found this helpful
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I would tend to agree 1930s, maybe early 20s. I am basing this on that my grandmother had a very similar piece and that would have been how old hers was. I wish I had hers!! I need to ask my brother if he still has it. I think he inherited it.

Yours is lovely and brought back a nice memory for me!

My grandma's had a shelf at the bottom and she used it as a breakfront (even though you could not see into it). I want to say they were meant to be used as hall pieces...but my memory of what she told me is gone. She did not have a hallway in her tiny apartment, which is why it was used in the dining room.

Post back with updates as you get her back to life!! She will be stunning!! I can see she has amazing bones!

Can you share how much you paid for her and where (what city) you are in? I am always curious of values of pieces in other places. I am thinking where I am something like this would be in the mid $200s if pristine and much less needing work.

Thanks for sharing!

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July 3, 2019

I just bought this today. She said it was her grandmother's. (I even found an old 1 cent Jefferson stamp post card). It is only 3' long and 19" in depth, 32" high. It is veneer because some of its splitting and breaking. I looked everywhere for a stamp with a manufacturer, but can not find anything. It's a cool piece, but I know nothing about it. Is it a spinet or a piano desk?

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July 4, 20190 found this helpful
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It looks like it was converted from a piano into a desk. Im surprised there are no identifying markings on it.

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Consumer Advice Collectibles Furniture Vintage FurnitureDecember 6, 2019
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