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Imperial Furniture Sewing Table?

A hexagonal table with two drawers.I acquired this table from my Granni who recently passed, and I can't seem to find much info about it online, so I appreciate any help identifying/determining value! This table measures just over 2' tall and wide, is marked "Imperial-Grand Rapids Mich," and has a "1940" stamp underneath. It is hexagonal, and the two side flaps open up for storage.

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I'm thinking because it has the two front drawers, the side flaps and the little organizer tray that it might be some sort of sewing table, but any additional information about the year, purpose, value, etc. is GREATLY appreciated!
Thank you so much!

Also-I apologize for the mess in the pictures, I'm in the middle of moving! ;)

The opening on the side of the table.
 
Measuring the table from end to end.
 
A manufacturer's mark on the inside of a drawer.
 
A number on the back of the table.
 

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November 11, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

This is an interesting piece. At first glance I thought it was a standard "Martha Washington" style sewing table, but then I noticed that the sides were sloped which lends itself to a dough proofing box or bread proofing box. I can't find any examples of Imperial making the latter--but I may not have dug deep enough. They made lots of "Martha Washington" style sewing tables--but those the sides were straight up and down....not sloped...and those typically had three drawers.

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The logo is one the company used from 1939-1953. I am still combing through my resources to find what it is exactly--besides very cute!

www.furniturecityhistory.org/.../imperial-furniture-co

The 1940 marking is most likely the model number not the year...which is what I hope to track it down by.

Value--no matter what is determined it was originally used for are going to be regional and since it is something too big for most people to try to ship--I always recommend talking to a few vintage shops in your town to see what they would sell it for (retail) and then you can expect to get about half of that if you sell on your own. All furniture sales are regional and supply and demand driven.

Yours has at least one condition issue I see which is the missing knob, so that will devalue slightly.

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I will keep digging when I get a chance, but if these tips get you answers before I do, please post back. Thanks for sharing.

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November 23, 20210 found this helpful

Thanks for your response! I told my mom and siblings about your idea of the table being used for proofing dough, and it delighted everyone!
I love this little table and really appreciate all of the info you shared!

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November 24, 20210 found this helpful

I have been through all my resources and I am still not sure exactly what you have. If you have time, you may want to contact the Grand Rapids Museum https://www.grpmcollections.org and see if they can pinpoint it.

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By definition the Martha Washington cabinets almost (there is always an exception, but ALMOST ALWAYS) have three drawers and are taller than yours. They often doubled as a sewing machine table--which yours looks too small to function in that capacity--but the photo could be misleading).

There is mention in some of the literature about the "Martha Washington style" of cabinets in general, not specific to Imperials, but that there may be two drawer sewing boxes that some companies called Martha Washington, but all the examples I found do not have the sloped side pieces like yours do. The slope of the side piece is what has me fascinated to learn the original intent of the piece!.

If you are able to get through to the museum, please post back what they say.

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Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 320 Answers
November 10, 20210 found this helpful

This is a wonderful combination sewing/knitting cabinet (the side pockets are for storing yarn). There is a similar, also of mahogany, on etsy, priced at $509 USD.

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November 10, 20210 found this helpful

This one is asking over $500. www.etsy.com/.../rare-antique-table-sewing-and-knitting...

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November 23, 20210 found this helpful

I have no doubt that this is a Martha Washington style Mahogany 2 Drawer sewing table/cabinet made by Imperial Furniture Co.

There was a Federal period between 1785 and 1810 where a sewing table was in great demand. Martha Washington liked to sew, she was said to have had a sewing cabinet that she could sit at to sew. The original sewing cabinet used by Martha Washington consisted of a table with an open shelf, 2 storage pockets, and no drawers in the middle. She died in 1802. The sewing cabinets which bear her name today are based on designs for sewing tables and side tables produced in the early 1800s after her death. The rounded top design was the first style of the Martha Washington table / cabinet.

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The 20th-century designs could be called reproductions and based on the original designs of the 18th and 19th centuries. The majority of the existing Martha Washington sewing cabinets are depression-era reproductions of that 1815 model. Then this original design was adapted during the reproduction years and you can find a Martha Washington cabinet looking a little bit different from each other.
Many examples of the Martha Washington tables/cabinets have two or three drawers in the middle. These drawers then usually have inserts that fit into the drawer sides to hold small bits and bobs like needles and buttons. There were also versions made where the drawers were false and small a sewing machine folded down into the middle top section.

Imperial Furniture Co. (1903-1954) also made various Martha Washington style sewing tables/cabinets. For example, take a look at Rare Antique Mahogany Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet Stand Side Compartments with Two Drawers Opens to Desk www.worthpoint.com/.../antique-mahogany-martha-washington...

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From the label, your Martha Washington style sewing table/cabinet was made by Imperial Furniture Co. after 1939 from solid mahogany www.furniturecityhistory.org/.../imperial-furniture-co.

Antique 1940s Martha Washington Mahogany Sewing Cabinet Imperial Grand Rapids MI Console Side Storage Table was sold for $229 www.etsy.com/.../antique-1940s-martha-washington-mahogany...
This model has looking the same sticker and the same sliding insert as your table www.worthpoint.com/.../vintage-drawer-martha-washington...
I could not find a sewing table/cabinet similar to yours, so you may consider your #1940 model is rare.
Since your table is missing one handle, I think the price is about $100-150, but the price depends on the demand in your area, so the price may be lower. For example Martha Washington Style Mahogany Sewing Table by Imperial was sold for $55 www.ebth.com/.../5924910-martha-washington-style-mahogany...

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November 23, 20210 found this helpful

Thank you so much for the information! I love learning about all of this, I feel really lucky to have a unique piece!
Much appreciated

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November 26, 20210 found this helpful

Your table resembles the Martha Washington Sewing Table.
Antique Mahogany Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet Table IMPERIAL GRAND RAPIDS MI sold for $ 225 avaluers.org/.../48149514-antique_mahogany_martha_washington_sewing_cabinet_table_imperial_grand_rapids_mi

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