Need help with an antique armoire

soonermomAugust 3, 2011

I just purchased an antique armoire. As you can see, it is on its side because one of the legs needs to be glued back. I have attached a close up of the detail on this piece and a picture of the door that we removed to move it. My question is - this piece doesn't need to be refinished so how would I best clean and refurbish (linseed oil, or other products you can recommend.) I would also be interested in what you think the period or style of this piece is and the approximate value of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photobucket

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texasredhead

It appears to me from somewhat limited pictures that the piece has allready been either refinished or stripped and redone. Either way, IMO, the piece does not show the patina indicative of a true antique. What you end up with is an old piece made to look like a new piece. Don't follow the logic.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 11:35AM
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calliope

I am uneasy about this piece. Please supply us with just a little more information. Does it have, or does it look like it ever had shelving? Does it have a key lock on the door? Labels? Was it represented as an antique as opposed to a reproduction? What does the back of the piece look like as far as condition, darkness or different wood? What do the hinges or any other mechanism look like? I can't tell.........is the mirror beveled? Is it very heavy or appear more like a thinner modern mirror?

To me it smacks of French influence in style, and there are a lot of furniture companies out there doing French reproductions. The mirror just has that reflection one sees in modern mirrors and is almost 'too perfect' and I'm not so sure the finish has been redone, yet it does not have an age patina nor does the only hardware I can see.

Just can't tell much by the pictures, I'm sorry. Any addtional info might help.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 12:28PM
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Fori is not pleased

Soonermom, no offense, but you are a terrible photographer! :) Can you get some less fuzzy pictures? Whatever it is, it looks like a very pretty piece so antique or not, I think you did okay.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 1:41PM
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soonermom

No offense Fori. I'll repost better pictures. It does have shelves but they were removed for moving purposes. The mirror doesn't have an aged look but it is beveled. The lock does have a key but the hardware looks new. I just bought it because I thought it was a pretty piece and wondered if I got a good deal on it. After you see the new pictures let me know what you think it's approximate worth is and then I'll tell you how much I paid (so I don't look too foolish upfront!!!)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 2:27PM
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calliope

It is a very pretty piece and that's why I asked more about it. If it is antique.....you got yourself a winner, if it isn't it may still have been a good buy, because many reproductions are quality made and don't come cheap either.

The first criteria I ask myself when I buy a questionable piece and not sure of the value is what I would pay for a brand new piece of the same quality. If the price difference is a wash then I don't hesitate to buy it if I like it simply to enjoy it. Getting a non-vested appraisal before purchase is important if it's a piece you are buying that you consider an investment down the line, and especially if it considerably more expensive than a new piece with the same function, since you are buying it for its antiquity.

If you really like the piece, then what you paid for it is moot because it was worth the risk to you to own the piece.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 4:10PM
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texasredhead

Not really interested in playing your game. The piece is worth what ever you think it is!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:21AM
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lindac

Post better pictures soonermom...I'll play!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 9:14AM
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soonermom

Okay friends who are willing to play, I've taken new pictures and I hope these are better! Thanks for all of your help!

Here is a link that might be useful: Photobucket

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 12:38PM
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karinl

Has sort of a Belgian/French provincial vibe to me, and I don't have a problem considering it an antique. And even though it's quite nice, small wardrobes with smaller doors are sort of a dime a dozen.

You REALLY need to learn the "flower" setting on your camera! These pictures still aren't good enough to give any recommendations about what to do with the finish. You can check the quality of your photos before posting them, and retake close-ups with the flower setting if they aren't clear.

With respect to price, what many people don't realize is that a store price is legitimately higher than a private sale (craigslist etc) price, simply because the store gives you the luxury of collecting a bunch of inventory for you to peruse and also not requiring an appointment (and probably being centrally located). So just getting it at maybe half what you see in a store is not a bargain; it's normal. Getting it at 10% of what you might see in a store, that's a bargain!

KarinL

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 4:12PM
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soonermom

Wow! I do have a new camera (obviously) so thanks for the "flower" setting advice!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 4:45PM
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Fori is not pleased

The photo labeled "mirror back"-is that the back of the armoire? If so, no wonder the leg is broken--those things come apart for transport and are sort of delicate assembled.

I await better pictures but will be unable to tell you anything because I don't know squat about armoires (I have a "what's my armoire?" post here too! And I still don't know!).

SO first you take the door off, then the top--there should be some of those funky diver-helmet screws up on the inside that will release the top. Then the sides by loosening the screws on the back and the lower inside sides. The back will just be sitting free after that so do have 2 people. Then the base be a lot easier to work on. Turn the screws with a long nail or skewer--something you poke in the hole.

I'm guessing, but it looks like mine and many others I've looked at and I think it'll come apart similarly. I love armoires and they are beautiful and useful and absurdly underpriced. There are some pictures of how mine is assembled at the end of this post--is yours similar?:

Here is a link that might be useful: what's my armoire?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 8:03PM
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karinl

You know, Fori, we have an armoire that has a central section about the size of yours or this one that is under discussion... and if it comes apart, after all the times we have moved it WITHOUT taking it apart, I'm gonna... take it apart! I never even thought to THINK about whether that huge section came apart, since it breaks down into sections. Holy toledo.

KarinL

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 12:54AM
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Fori is not pleased

Ha! My mother has one of those French curlicue topped things and it comes apart the same way. I can't imagine getting one of those things upstairs without dismantling!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 2:14AM
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