My 'new' dresser

tricia560August 16, 2010

We found this piece at a consignment store and had to have it. It looks like the top is a birds eye maple veneer...just gorgeous. It has labels on the back that indicate it was made by the Ottawa Furniture Co, Holland, Michigan and sold by a company in Ohio (we bought it in Michigan) but no indications of a date.. Maybe 1920s? Can anyone give us a better idea? Was $250 a good price for it? There are some issue with the veneer in places cracking and chipping, but I think signs of having been used and enjoyed add character, and we couldn't have found anything new this nice and well built for that price, so I think we did ok, but it's our first large antique.

And more pressing, is there anything special we can do to clean it? When we take off the mirror yoke, there's a distinct ridge of build up along the back edge, and the wood hidden by the yoke is MUCH lighter in color then the rest of the top. We don't want to strip the finish, just clean it and lighten it up a bit, but we're afraid of ruining it.

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It's a lovely old serpantine front dresser. Older than '20, perhaps as old as 1880. I don't see any cracks in the veneer, but I am puzzled that the top 2 drawers don't have any of the birds eye figure...was that veneer removed?
It's very likely that the finish is shellac and will dissolve in alcohol. I would clean it with mineral spirits....and embrace the darkened finish as another sign of it's age.
Do the locks work? Can you find a key?
It's very nice! Please tell me you are NOT going to remove the drawers, cut a hole in it and make it into a bathroom vanity!
Linda c

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 9:44AM
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The top two drawers do look like the same veneer in person, just a bit more subdued..maybe the angle of the photo + flash washes it out. The veneer issues are all in the mirror and its supports--noticeable in person, but really not bad enough to detract from the beauty of the piece.

It isn't locked, and I don't know if the locks even work, but we'll keep our eyes open for a suitable sized key :-)

No way is this going in a bathroom!! In fact, I just bought a pretty vintage crochet dresser scarf on ebay to protect that beautiful top. I plan to put my collection of jewelry boxes on it, and use it to store either my extra linens or off season clothes.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 9:54AM
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