Meaning Behind Furniture Markings?

February 25, 2021

A mahogany table in an old fashioned room.What does this mean when it is stamped on an antique furniture drop leaf table.


Information stamped on the underside of a table.
A marking on the underside of a table.
Numbers written on the underside of a table.


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February 25, 20210 found this helpful
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It appears the factory printed a lot more information on this table than they usually placed on their furniture.

Not exactly sure why but maybe we can add some comments:
It appears this table was made specifically for Army (QMC) Quarter Master Club and that would be the reason for all of the information.
If it was a contract then all of this would be necessary.

US - plant was in the US.
Table occasional wood:
D/Leaf type XIV Mahogany: Maybe XIV was the style?
The next 3 lines; Stock etc would have been for identifying everything relating to the contract with the US government.


Saginaw Furniture Shops, INC:
open from 1923-1966 sold and closed completely in 1971. They were best known for making what was called 'Expand-O-Matic' furniture that was one piece - like a desk - that expanded into a table.
This table was made in 1958.

There is not a lot of history about the company but it does appear the furniture was well made and value is good but most furniture is very slow selling right now; no matter the brand or price.

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February 25, 20210 found this helpful
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Are you asking because you are trying to sell?

The company has an interesting history. In 1938 they claimed their furniture was warp proof and advertised the heck out of that concept.


Then they had Expand-o-Matic tables that started out the size of a small desk and expanded to something like 7 feet to seat from 2 to 20 people.

I guess the military must have liked them because there are a few references out there to their desks and tables being used for milinary offices.

All of the details you see were needed to fulfil their milintary contracts.

Great piece of history. Since there are not a lot of examples of these pieces in the wild, you may have a low supply, high demand piece where you can fetch a decent price.

Post back what your plans are and I can offer some suggestions if your intent is to sell!

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February 26, 20210 found this helpful

I would say the first thing to find out would be to see if your table is one of their Expand-O-Matic pieces.
Does the 'drawer' in the side of your table pull out/extend?


Do you have any additional pieces?
What information can you provide about the history of your table? Age/state or city purchased/state or city now located
Most important: condition of the table as it looks to have quite a few 'issues' which could lower the value.

Maybe you could show some pictures of the table opened and also the top and underneath side of the table.

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February 26, 20210 found this helpful

My first pass at planning to sell would be to first look, as cybergrannie suggested, to see if it extends out and how big it extends out to and take good pictures of the before and after.


Take good measurements of before and after.

Then I would contact a real auction house in your town, share the photos/measurements and see what they will estimate as an auction price for their audience. They usually give you a range of expected sale value.

Ideally--if you have 3 auction houses--I would get three opinions because if yours are like ours, they have different audiences. Pick the highest option and let them sell it for you. I am not talking eBay, but real auction houses that sell collectible items and furniture.

If that is not an option for you, then with the photos and measurements, and all of the info printed on the piece and see if you have consignment stores that will sell it on consignment for you.

Last option if you have no others, is to put it up for sale in a local venue on your own--like if you have Next Door, local Facebook Sale Want Trade (SWT) or local Facebook flea market groups.


Start it high--$2,500 and then tell people you will take best offer.

See what people offer and negotiate with them. In this condition, to be honest, it may be as low as $ values are highly regional, and supply and demand based and condition is everything, but I always (when I flipped furniture) started high and saw if I got nibbles, and then went down every week until it sold.

You do have a unique piece in that there are not a lot of pieces that were commissioned for military contracts found in the wild, so you can play up that aspect in the ad also.

If it expands to a huge size, that also may be a selling point for a potential buyer so be sure to mention that in the headline.

If you have the chairs, that is another selling point.

I would use the phrase Duncan Phyfe STYLE legs in the ad. This is NOT a Duncan Phyfe piece--this is just the style of the legs. In some places that STYLE is a selling point so that will catch their eye.

I hope this gets you started! Post back how your sale goes, what you fetch, and where you are located! I like to trend sales around the country as I am in PA and our values are totally different from other places.

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