Can anyone tell me about this buffet, please?

balego_gwApril 28, 2011

I just bought this. Would someone be able to tell me anything about possible age, etc? I have found no markings or label, but haven't had a thorough look for one yet. TIA

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It's nice....looks like mahogany...maybe 1960 to 1980..sort of "chippendale-ish"...looks like it has been refinished....and may not be mahogany under that stain.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 12:42PM
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Thanks for responding Linda. I found a label, but paper has been pulled off. What is left is a crinkled bit with a couple of letters showing in old script. The top is solid, no veneer, and very nice red (I just stripped the top) Dovetail joints in the drawers, the hardware seems old.. I don't know about antiques, but I think this might be older? There is a couple of numbers on the back, handwritten, not stamped.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 1:51PM
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I think it's older too.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 2:48PM
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Let's see a picture of the dovetail joints.....and the back while you are at it. That mahogany red stain persists through lots....the "red" color has little to do with the actual wood color. Look on the underside of the top for an idea of the wood color.
Frequently a paper label will be affixed when a piece is sent to a store or storage or in for it really doesn't mean much unless you can read it.
If the brasses were truly old they would be bright brass....tarnished where they attach to the wood but bright where they were touched often.
The style/design isn't clearly one period....which makes me think it's from some good manufacturer's "Traditional suite".
The dovetails and the back will be the most immediate signs of age, so a picture would help date it.....and perhaps a good clear picture of the grain of the wood on the top before you start putting any stain or new finish on it.
How was the old label fastened on? tacks? glue? staples? And just for the brasses hold a magnet?
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 5:03PM
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This really strikes me as more of a Louis 16th inspired reproduction. Time frame of manufacture? You're going to find that it's a heck of a lot easier saying something can't be made before a certain date (the date that style became mainstream and popular) than after. They've been making furniture in this style since Louis sixteenth, and still do.

Unless it's a really old piece predating factory made furniture (and I don't assume this is one of them) you're not going to find out much looking at the dovetail construction. They've been able to do machined dove-tails since the later 1800s. Really fine modern cabinetry may also fool you as far as construction, because if you are willing to pay the price for it, you can find it with the detail to attention that they put in them years ago. It's a lot easier to get a feel for age of a piece if you can see it physically, touch it, smell it and look for those more esoteric indicators you can't see in a picture.

You really can't depend on the hardware to tell you either, because it may have been removed anytime since it was made and cleaned immaculately. Many people do that when they get an old piece, not knowing it shouldn't be done.

It's a lovely piece and I've seen styles similar in advertisements from the early nineteen hundreds on. I could no way look at it and say it was made in any one twenty year period by that picture and doubt anyone else could.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 7:20PM
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It reminds me of my parents' set of a similar look. They wed in 1935.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 7:46PM
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It's a lovely piece; I think it looks '30's -- just a guess. It might look refinished because the photo shows years of waxing and polish build up that gives it an uneven appearance that isn't obvious in real life. I'm a little bothered that you say you stripped the top. I've seen beautiful pieces that have been stripped on the top only, and they look really "off". IMO, if you want to refinish any of it, it most often is best to refinish the whole thing. I think it's a very nice piece -- a great find.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 8:10PM
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Thanks for the input, everyone. I was thinking it might be from the 1930s or so. The pulls are not magnetic, but the rosettes are. The label was glued. Here are some detail photos. Yes, I am refinishing the whole piece, not just the top. When my husband went to buy it, the previous owner said it was cherry, and that it had been her mothers'. Thats is all she said about it. We paid $200. I don't know if that was too much or not enough, but I knew I wanted it when I saw it. :)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 10:11PM
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Hmmmmm....I may be eating my words.....those dove tails look like they could be hand done.
And the brasses could be old....they show signs of wear/polish.
What is the distance between the screw holes...on center?
The marking on the back mean nothing as far as dating or origin...nor does that previously glued on label.
There is too much stain on the top to really say much about the wood....but the inside of the drawer, where the pull goes shows a cherry color.
Mo matter what it, old, reopro is well worth $200!!!
I am puzzled by the lack or grain figure in the top.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 10:42PM
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I'm sorry but the dovetails on my 2009 kitchen cabinet are hand done. That means nothing other than it's nicer than a pieced and butt jointed piece.

1949s with a bad resotore job would be my guess (the wood should be stained to even out the finish). I've seen many in that style. It's nice, worth over two hundred, but needs a dark stain to even it out and bring it back to it's original look.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 12:34AM
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Hand cut dovetails are very different from those made using power tools. It would be very unusual if the dove tails in your kitchen cabinet were made using hand tools and not a router and a dovetail jig.

Let's see the whole drawer front from the side.....thickness of the front....and the inside of the piece without the drawer....please! LOL!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 8:55AM
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Sure do look different....but what we are saying is that finding machined dovetails doesn't mean a piece isn't a legitimate antique. It would be a clue to look for if you were trying to date VERY old furniture, but asking that question about anything you know is made in the Victorian era or later is redundant. Powered tools and machines have been around since the industrial revolution. And hand-crafted doesn't have to mean made without the assistance of power tools, it usually refers to not being mass assembled. Semantic point maybe, but an important one.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 10:18AM
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The blue chalk says "Mah" = mahogany. They are commercial machine-made d-tails; and the drawer fronts are veneered inside and outside. Acceptably good factory-made furniture. In work a higher grade, instead of applied molding, there would be inlay work. The fluting is cut on a shaper, The "carvings" are appliques; many other machine-tool cues.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 7:39PM
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It looks 20th c. probably pre-1950s-ish -- to me and decently factory made , as Casey said. Remember though, legitimate antique now predates only 1911.

I don't think $200 is bad for any solid piece of furniture.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 11:29PM
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Thanks, everyone. It looks clearly factory made, and is a really nice solid piece of furniture. I already have another old buffet in my dining room (from the 40s), but I'm wanting a bit of change in decor. At these kind of prices to replace furniture, it sure beats shopping the local retail stores!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 7:29AM
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Probably late 1920s to early 30s, good quality mass produced stuff blending design details from earlier eras.

Those vertical grooves were a very popular design detail in that era, as was that foot shape, and the oval medallion. The details don't occur together in earlier furniture.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 9:53AM
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