help to identify china cabinet

kstollAugust 21, 2011

Hi there,

I will ask my questions and then post the pictures (hopefully). Any info is greatly appreciated!

My Mother gave me this china cabinet which I have been in love with all of my life! It was given to her by her Aunt - I don't know when but over 50 years ago. We don't know anything about it. I can't even figure out what style it is.

I would like to know what style this would be called. Also, any other information that you might be able to give me.

It is not in wonderful shape any longer and I am worried about it. It has such beautiful painting on it and many of the painted areas are now lifting up and disappearing as the varnish is crackling. There used to be painting all over the top of it which have now lifted up with the crackling varnish - also along the very top edge there were paintings which are fading....the bottoms of the side doors...the very bottom shelf had what I think was a scottish thistle which has now mostly lifted up. It's sad and how do I stop this from getting any worse? There can be no way to bring back the hand painting and that is what I always loved about this piece of furniture. I really do not want to see the painting on the front door - bottom area disappear. I would love to find out how to save what is left of it. As you can see one of the glass sides is broken at the bottom. I have the missing pieces and have always felt it is probably not a good idea to replace with new glass but better to just leave it as is...comments? And lastly, would there be any value to this piece - or is it in too bad of shape - should I insure it or no? Thanks so much! From cabinet From cabinet From cabinet From cabinet From cabinet From cabinet From cabinet From cabinet

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Oh, and I should also mention that there are no makers marks on this cabinet that I can find.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 8:18AM
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That would be a French Vitrine (curio cabinet) with a Vernis Martin finish.. kind of that golden "frosty" type finish. The legs are classic.

Date wise, I would guess around 1900-1915, but could be a decade or so older. They CAN be quite valuable... 3-10,000 for a decent piece, however, the condition is pretty... well... it's rough!

You're correct in not replacing the glass, especially if you still have the piece that is broken out. I can't even imagine what it would cost to replace.

There are things you can do to prevent further deterioration, however, that would be only if you plan on keeping it for personal use because it WOULD diminish it's value.

Insure it? That's a judgement call. In good condition, insuring it for 3-5,000 would be fair.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 5:37PM
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Why not send your photos and information to the link posted just up from yours about be on the history channel and have your furniture restored?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 8:07PM
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Hi, sorry I didn't reply sooner, we were in the middle of moving our household. China cabinet made the move without any further damage!
Thanks so much for the information about the cabinet, that is good to know and very interesting.
It's a shame that it has become in such rough shape but I can't imagine ever not owning and loving this piece. Too many wonderful childhood memories - I could never let it go! So, with that being said - what would be the best way to keep what is left of the painting on the cabinet? Particularly that painting on the bottom of the front door?
Thanks very much, this is a wonderful forum!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 5:06PM
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