Value of Antique Grand Rapids Imperial Furniture?

The Imperial Furniture Company was founded in 1903. They initially made tables and later added a line of bookcases. Mahogany was the main wood used with some cherry pieces available. Imperial was the first factory to bring out Duncan Phyfe reproductions. This page contains information that may be helpful in determining the value of a piece of Imperial furniture.
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I inherited this True Grand Rapids Imperial mahogany table with brass feet and was wondering what it is worth?

Thank you so much for your help.

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December 15, 20171 found this helpful
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I would ask $275

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December 17, 20171 found this helpful
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It's worth about 800 dollars there is one very similiar on E-Bay.

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June 13, 2019

We have had this desk sitting in the garage for several years and are wondering if it is worth anything.

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June 13, 20190 found this helpful
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This brand of furniture has held its value. It is worth at least $200, and probably more. www.ebay.com/.../bn_7024793868

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June 13, 20190 found this helpful
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Nice sturdy, functional piece you have there!!

So the single drawer versions are selling (ACTUAL sold prices--not asking prices) for $250 local pick up in Shiocton, Wisconsin (it was on eBay).

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Since I can't find a two drawer comparable to give you today's value, I can guesstimate that a 2 drawer would fetch $25-$50 more than a one drawer.

The challenge is sales like this are:

1. better if done in person (the eBay sale was local pick up only)

2. different values in different parts of the country--where I am, I know people wouldn't pay that much for this piece--so you have to know your market to get a good value for it--we know in Shiocton, Wisconsin, it is worth $250 for a one drawer and guess that a two drawer would have a slightly higher value.

Selling is all about supply and demand so if you are in a high demand, low supply location, you may get even more, if you are in a place like me, where there is a high supply and a low demand, you will fetch less.

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Since this is a large and lovely piece, you would be best served to work with a reputable 2nd hand furniture dealer or antique store (even though it is not an antique) and have them sell it for you.

Most people are not going to hand over that much cash to a person for a sale (like if you tried to sell it yourself on Facebook marketplace). You could try it...but you will get the most exposure through a shop.You pay a percentage of the sale, but usually end up winning in the long run because there is no muss or fuss, the piece leaves your house, sits as long as it needs to sit to sell, and you get a check. To me, that is well worth the slight money difference!

Post back with an update on how much you fetch for this neat item! Thanks for sharing!!

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June 14, 20190 found this helpful
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You can probably use this piece as a desk but I believe it would be unusual to find a true desk with drop-down side pieces.

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Perhaps it was used as a library table or davenport/sofa table or foyer table or even a side table used for serving in the dining area?

That information may not be important but if you want top dollar for furniture you need to know as much about it as possible.
Your label does not seem to match any advertised labels for Imperial Furniture Company so maybe someone can explain about the difference.

Lyre base tables are usually popular but condition means everything with furniture (for top value). Your table seems to be in good condition but you say it has been stored in your garage for years and if it has been exposed to moisture then it may not be in excellent condition. Hopefully the drawers are sliding properly and close correctly as these are usually the first things affected by moisture.

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If you wish to sell your table I do not think you should mention that it has been stored in your garage.

I am a great believer in free online appraisals as you can usually find out so many things from these sites and some are free but it's always best to contact several so you receive the most information.
Should you decide to ask for an appraisal you should clean up your piece as best you can and take a minimum of 6 pictures with an uncluttered background if possible.
Full front, close up of top condition, side showing drop and hinges, harp/lyre, full back, underside and marks.
Also give full measurements, opened and closed and height.
Provide any information you have about provenance and state your present location.
Ask for insurance and retail value and any information on where would be a suitable place to take your table for auction (within driving distance if possible).

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

www.antique-shop.com/.../index.php?board=2.0

If you do this you will have all the information (and pictures) needed to list your table for sale.
I agree that taking it to a large auction house may be best but most people do not live within driving distance of an auction where this table would be sought after.
No matter where you post your listing it will probably be best to have it listed as local pick up only.
I believe your table will show up as more valuable than is being sited but value will depend on condition and location.

Here is a link that you can ask questions about your table.

www.furniturecityhistory.org/contact

www.furnituredetective.com/contact_us.php

Here are links to interesting fact about the Imperial Furniture Company.

www.seattletimes.com/.../

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

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I got this desk for free and refinished it. I googled the stamp that was inside the drawer and the website indicated that it was from 1956. I'm wondering what the asking price should be. I was thinking of $150.

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April 21, 20200 found this helpful

You did a great job on this piece! I tried researching any thing close to this. I could not fine. I do think you are under selling yourself. There are desk on the market on various sites. Here is my favorite site to look at fine pieces that people own, and selling on this site. www.chairish.com/search?q=imperial+desk - maybe you will adjust your price, you can always lower your price to $150 only if needed!

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April 22, 20200 found this helpful

Hi Ana, Thank you so much for your input. I have been told I do undersell some of my items. I do not have a retail location and it is tough selling on social media. I have looked at Chairish before and it is a great site! I wish I could get the selling prices that they do!

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April 22, 20200 found this helpful

Hi! You did am amazing job on this desk.

Is this piece burled wood? Just curious. I call this a French Deco writing piece--I am not sure that is the official name. You are saying it is from the 1950s so it is not a true 1930s deco--so more of a reproduction or homage piece.

I have seen many pieces like yours where people are asking very high prices--like Chairish and 1stDibs--but I think in most if not all cases, the pieces were original to the 1930s and were NOT refinished.

Refinishing is a tricky thing as in some things you can dealue the piece. There is a fine line for when refinishing improves or devalues pieces. Your piece looks very well done, so my prayer is it IMPROVES your value!

So, people (sellers) can ask anything they want. for pieces and places like Chairish and 1st Dibs people ask INSANE prices. Since you can't ever see (at least that I have found) how much they actually get, it leads you down a fantasy garden path!

Unfortunately I was not able to find any that had actually sold on any of the sites I frequent. Sold prices are the only way to gauge current market value. Since there aren't any sold, you can ASK what you want!

Personally I think $150 is too low. I will tell you, it is important to price the piece for YOUR market. If you are in a place where there is a high demand and a low supply, you will get more than someone where there are a lot of similar pieces and that drives the price down.

Also, you will want to try to recoup your time and materials for what you did (or at least try to). You do need to disclose that the piece was refinished so as not to mislead anyone. This is critical to the selling process.

Just a hint/tip, when you want to get more than say $100 for a piece I always recommend you work with a reputable resale store in your town so you can get the audience the piece appeals to and you can give buyers a comfort level in paying what it is worth.

When you go this route, you also do not have to worry about someone being able to pick up the piece and take it to their new home, you won't have people coming to your house, and you can usually get more money (even with the consigning split) than self sales.

I can tell you this from years and years and years of experience as a reseller. Now this was all BV (before the virus), but when the world recovers, I hope this will help you with your piece! Post back with an update!!


Thanks for sharing your piece!! It is lovely!

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April 22, 20200 found this helpful

I'm not sure what condition the desk was in before but the condition it is in now is wonderful. If you had not told us your refurbished the desk none of us would have know. When you list the desk make sure you tell the person it is refinished. I think it is best to list it as a refurbished desk so there are no questions about it. I would start off at $250 and see what people off you.

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September 26, 2019

I have a Grand Rapids Imperial Furniture Company 3 tier nesting table. I am curious if this has value.

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September 27, 20190 found this helpful

In good condition $300-$400 on Ebay!

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September 27, 20190 found this helpful

Depending on the conditon of the table and how many people are interested in this type of furniture will determine the price. I know eBay can give you an idea of what people ask for this table but this is not the true value of the table. On eBay I see people asking $200 to $400 for this table. Now if you go to an antique store they could tell you the table is worth a lot more or they could say it was worth less. I would actually get this appraised to find out the real value because it is a nice table.

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September 27, 20190 found this helpful

It is o my worth what people will pay. Look on eBay only at the sold items and see what they sold for.

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September 30, 20190 found this helpful

If these were pristine, in many places in the US you could get up to $300 for this set as Grand Rapids Imperial is still a very popular brand.

Sadly it looks like yours are well loved and have some condition challenges. You may fetch as high as $60 for them.

These are really a supply and demand set so if you are in a high demand, low supply location even in this condition you may fetch more. High supply, low demand, less.

If you have a good vintage reseller in your town, I suggest either seeing if they can sell them for you and getting a percentage of the sale or if you really want to sell them on your own, ask what it would cost to BUY a set from them (that will be retail) then you can mark yours at 1/4 to 1/2 of what they are asking.

Post back how it goes!! Thanks for sharing!

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July 7, 2020

Does anyone know if this antique Imperial telephone table is worth anything?

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July 7, 20200 found this helpful

I found one that was listed on eBay but it is not the same as yours. it is a bench chair telephone table and the person is asking $175 for this table. The table is in great shape and looks nice. Your table needs a lot of work done on it and that will lower the price of this table greatly. You may be able to get around $100 for the table if you sell it as is.

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July 1, 2020

I bought this little cabinet from an auction and I'm curious about the value and the year. I'm having trouble finding info because Imperial Furniture in Grand Rapids, usually made tables. Any info would help greatly appreciated!

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July 2, 20200 found this helpful

Here are a couple of links to help you use the logo and date the piece.

www.collectorsweekly.com/.../251758-imperial-furniture-co-grand...

grpmcollections.org/.../2604

As for value, what you paid for it is the current market value because value is only what someone will pay and since you bought it, you set the market value for your town on the day you bought it. I do not want that to sound flip or impertinent...it is just a fact in the resale world and I have been in that world for over 50 years.

If you want to flip it and make a profit, you can take what you spent, figure out what you want to make as a profit, and determine an asking price.

Furniture values are regional so you can start with that, asking high and then see what offers come in and then you can take the best offer.

There is a lot with the piece I can't see or smell which could lower what you could reasonably ask for it. If the drawers are not clean or are stained that will lower what you can ask. If it has any smells, that will significantly lower what you can ask.

It is a lovely piece!! Post back what you learn and how your sale goes and if someone else set the new value where you are located by purchasing it from you!!

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July 6, 20200 found this helpful

Imperial Furniture made nice pieces but mostly tables.
It looks like your cabinet was made in 1939 and if auctioned in the right place (you do not say how much you paid) it may sell for several hundred dollars.
The problems with selling are many and the location is usually the biggest indicator of 'current value' as each area is different and some people see where an item sold for several hundred dollars and just assume that another item just like that would sell for the same price - but they do not take into account - the area/city the item was sold.

Not sure if you are wanting to know the 'value' because you want to know if you got a bargain or if you plan to resell your piece but whatever - you will have to find what you feel is the value because only a sold item determines value and that is what you paid.

You can look at eBay listings for Imperial Furniture and see what others are asking for their pieces but this will only be beneficial as information and not the value of your piece. You can also place a 'watch' on any item to see if it sells.

www.ebay.com/.../bn_7022090892

Here is a link to sold listings on eBay so you can see that people are still buying this furniture but be sure you notice the pick up location.

www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_nkw=imperial+furniture&rt...

All of this is just information and does not give you any true value. You can look at some of the listings and decide what you would like to receive for your cabinet and start the price at that. You can lower it if no one shows an interest.
I would suggest you stay away from eBay (unless you are already a seller) and list it on sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, letgo, offerup, and any other sites you're familiar with.
Offer it as pick up only and list on several sites.
You will need several very good pictures, including open doors and drawers and a good description/measurements.

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

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