Identifying a Desk/Cabinet?

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
Best Answer

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.

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 11, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you much for your kind insite.

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November 7, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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.

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November 6, 20190 found this helpful

Look for identifying marks under, inside or on the back. This piece could be a knockoff of something more expensive or a valuable piece. A dealer could identify it for you.

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November 7, 20190 found this helpful

Almost all manufacturers of wood furniture will mark their pieces to mark them easy to identify. These marking can be found on the bottom of the piece, inside a drawer, cabinet, or on the back of the item. You need to take a good look at the piece to find these markings. If you can not find them then it is advised to seek out a dealer of fine furniture to help you find them. He can easily identify the piece, the age, and the value of this item.

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