Considering this asian style chest in a resale shop
I was in a resale/antique shop today. Very crowded, lots of stuff to weed through. I saw this asian style cabinet. It looks Japanese to me. Definitely old, not a reproduction. It was unpriced so I asked the owner. She said, "Oh, I don't know how much I'm going to charge for that. I just got it in a lot over Christmas: I haven't had a chance to fix it up yet. I need to do a lot. Maybe $150: but that's just ballpark: I won't really know until I start working on it."
It is about 2 feet wide, 16 inches tall, and 8 inches deep. There are two doors at the top, and two drawers under. When you open the doors, there are 6 smaller drawers inside. It's all inlaid wood. The inset decorative panels on the front look like lacquer to me. Some hardware is missing . One whole handle and some of the brass / copper trim. The doors are a little wobbly, the hinges need to be re-nailed. Or the holes in the wood may be too large now and have to be filled. I think there were a few chips missing in the outside inlay, but not many. I would use it as a jewelry cabinet.
These pictures are bad, but it was so dark in there. I brightened them in Photoshop but now they look garish. In the pics the cabinet also looks bigger than it is: this would sit on top of a chest of drawers, and not take up much space. I went back to look at it, and she walked back with me. The friend I was with tried to ask if we could buy it now for $150, but the owner said she wasn't ready to sell it yet. She said when she was done with it, it might be priced higher, it might be priced lower (like maybe if she canÃ¯Â¿Â½t fix it?). Maybe I showed too much interest, and she thought she could get more?
If she's planning to replace the hardware, I have no idea where she could find suitable antique hardware. I'd rather fix it up myself, than see her replace some of it with new pieces that were inappropriate. I'm a metalsmith. I would cut out copper pieces to match the originals.
This is not near my house. It's over an hour drive. So it's not like I can drop in now and then. I'd like to offer an amount to take it as it is. But I can't force her to sell it to me. She might want to hold out for more.
What do you think?
Somewhat wonky door and hinges: