How to Identify China Cabinet?

Alip99January 28, 2013

Hello everyone. I was left this china cabinet by my mother in law. She collected antiques but I do not know anything about them. I was hoping someone could help me to to find out anything at all about this. I live about 1000 miles from her home so I am try to sell it rather than take it with me, but I have no clue what to price it at. The only thing I know about it is a woman from an estate sale told me the glass is hand blown which is rare. Other than that, I know nothing. Please help! I tried to post multiple pictures of the cabinet but it will only let me post one....

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If you put the photos in a photobucket album you can post more than one (copy and paste the HTML code) but otherwise, just reply to your own thread and add a photo each time.

On the basis of this photo, it is not looking all that special to me, but if it is, photos of the back, the drawer joints, the hardware would show it. I would price it at whatever "vintage" china cabinets are going for in that area.

Karin L

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 12:16PM
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To be honest, it doesn't look really antique to me. And I'm curious about the windows being "hand blown" glass, as as far as I am aware pane glass is not blown, it's spun, and has telltale "bullseyes" unless the pane was large enough for them to be cut off.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:36PM
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I think my sister has one very much like this cabinet, it was purchased at a farm auction 48 years ago and was by no means new then. I think the hardware on this one is not original and right below the knobs & back plates is a key hole. Could the glass be like that used in old windows and picture frames? I may visit my sis and take a picture of her cabinet for comparison.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 1:11AM
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I have its sibling!!!!! It's a standard kitchen cabinet tarted up with some curvy Art Noveau-ish rounded moldings on the doors to be trendy and stylish.

Mine is oak, with the same moldings on the doors and bottom, same rosette at the lock, but mine has two rows of drawers (two small, one full width) between the doors. Your door pulls are not original. Mine had no pulls and no marks where a pull would have been. They may have had "push-open" catches.

Mine also has old glass in it - the slightly wavery stuff with the tiny occasional stretched-out bubbles. That is NOT hand blown, it's the kind of mass-produced glass they made by pulling a sheet of glass up out of a cauldron of molten glass.

Your cabinet doesn't look like oak - it could be walnut, poplar, butternut, or any of the other common wood species.

Mine was identified by the seller, a knowledgeable dealer, as from 1900-1910 - apparently the way the panels of the doors are rounded had a short life because of the machinery it took to make it, and because the Art Noveau trend died out.

I forget what I paid for mine, but it's a well-made vintage cabinet with rather nice wood.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 2:12PM
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Your piece looks similar to a piece I inherited from my grandmother, but she always called it a pie safe. However, instead of glass at the top, mine has screen in the doors. Mine also has the two drawers over the bottom cabinet. I believe my grandmother bought her piece sometime during the 1930's to 1940's.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:56PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I live in Southern Ohio where we call these types of cabinets 'flatwalls'. I have four, all slightly different, but still very similar to yours. They have round, screened vent holes near the bottom sides. This one I purchased in the late 1970's--I was told that it had been recently refinished in the golden oak stain that was all the rage at that time. It has the original wavy glass, and original wooden knobs:

This one sat on my grandmother's back porch for years, used for storing empty canning jars. The glass was long gone--I added the copper panels and white porcelain knobs in the early 1980's:

If you look closely you can see that these cabinets have inset doors, with a trim piece that overlaps, and no center stile. For a while I owned one similar to the style that lazygardens posted, which is a beautiful example. The inset door cabinets seemed to be more well made than the Art Deco cabinet I had. I see similar cabinets for sale in my area for ap. $250 to $500, depending on the condition. (Original finish, glass, etc.)

Edited for grammar :P

This post was edited by mama_goose on Tue, Feb 5, 13 at 23:47

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 11:17PM
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