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
Best Answer

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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February 26, 20210 found this helpful

That's good to know. You can just advertise it then as a Mahogany Drop Leaf Duncan Phyfe table, list the brand and the measurements. Since it is not one of their expanding tables, you can still start high, but know that you will probably need to lower the price pretty quickly if you go the sell it your self route.

Ideally selling it through a shop or auction house is your best bet so you don't have people traipsing in and out of your house. You could do it "porch pick up" but wood should not be left on a cold porch if you are in cold climate and should not be exposed to any weather.

Post back what you decide and how it goes!

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February 27, 20210 found this helpful

Thanks - it may not be the expanding type but it is nice to have the 2 drawers which most dining tables do not have.
It sounds like the measurements are about the average for dining tables. Height? maybe 30 inches?
If you want to receive a higher price for your table you will need to do some cleaning before taking pictures for posting for sale.
If you are not familiar with what product to use on your table, I would suggest you take good pictures of the damaged areas and take them to your Ace Hardware store and ask for help. Tell them what you're planning to do and just need to clean it up to sell. I feel sure they can steer you correctly on what to buy for that table.

Be sure to take good pictures when you get ready to list it or it may be difficult to sell. Try to find a spot that does not have clutter in the pictures - maybe against a blank wall. Take pictures of table closed, opened, drawer opened,underneath table, legs, top - closed and opened. This will give everyone a clear picture of the true table. The military information gives you all the information you need.
Post on sites like Facebook (they have several sites to sell items), maybe OfferUp, LetGo or any other sites you are familiar with.
Start high - $2,000 or more and list best offers considered with local pick up only. If you receive no offers then lower the price after 2 or 3 weeks. You may or may not be in a high value area for this type of furniture so offers may be low.
If you accept an 'offer' and someone wishes to see your table. be sure to have someone in the house with you when they arrive. Also, try to have this placed in a room, garage or porch when someone wishes to see.
Since this is a narrow table it should be 'easy' to maneuver through doors and if in an apartment you might even place it in the hall at appointment time.
Good luck with your sale.

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October 9, 20220 found this helpful

That's a very nice table from Saginaw Furniture. My great-grandfather was the founder and my grandfather ran the company for many years until about 1972 when he sold it.

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