What can you tell me about this dresser?

oceangirlmeDecember 21, 2009

I bought this dresser at a flea market. I loved the size - it's 40" x 20" x 26" tall. And I loved the curved edges. It's made of a hardwood - I'm not sure what kind. I got this about 75% stripped and then stopped because I didn't have a place to put it. We've moved and I now have the perfect place for it.

How old do you think this piece is?

What kind of hardware do you think originally came with it? It was not pulls as there are only one hole on each side of the drawers. I find it hard to believe that it originally came with square pulls. The square pulls were smaller on the top two drawers (I have the missing drawer - it just needs to be glued back together). Thanks~

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... and the picture is ... where?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 7:50PM
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That would help, huh!?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 10:42PM
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It looks like it could be a lovely old Empire chest....Perhaps had veneer that was stripped off? or maybe faux graining.
How are the drawers constructed? What does the back look like, the drawer bottoms?
The style is consistant with Empire period....1830 to about 1860. And if so the knobs would have been wood either like you have or round wooden knobs.
It's very nice!
Linda c

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 10:53PM
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OMG - oceangirlme!!! I have that same exact piece! let me get a picture in a bit. Small world, huh?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 12:36PM
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I bought mine at a church rummage sale years ago. It had been in a damp basement and had that wet musty smell but fortunately no real water damage. It had been painted a million times and it was all chipping off so I sanded most of it off. It's on my 3 season porch which has kind of a rustic/Latin vibe so it works as is. It's a piece that could be used a lot of ways with a cottagey painted finish or a stained and waxed finish and I'll have it forever. The knobs it had when I bought it were round wood and almost flat but there was 1 missing so I bought rusted iron to go with the room. What are you planning to do with yours?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 1:18PM
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Dim-- I want to see those molas! You should post that pic in the Decorating with Folk Art thread!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 1:25PM
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I have one like it, too (I think) but it's buried in the garage. Mine is pine & probably from 1900-20; originally, it had a large mirror attached to the back which vanished in a move. It was in my grandmother's house & as a child, I thought the mirror was very tall but when I inherited it as an adult, it wasn't that big, LOL.

The mirror frame was plain & rectangular, wide as the chest, & tall enough to make the entire piece about 5' to 5.5' as I remember it. I refinished mine in the 70's but I seem to recall the original finish was the ubiquitous, factory applied mahogany/black shellac that had cracked & chipped. The feet on mine may be more scrolled.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 2:55PM
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After looking more closely at both of the above chests, the height of the legs & bottom rail on mine are more like dlm's.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 3:04PM
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How fun!! It's not often that you find near identical pieces of old furniture. I plan to stain mine and because of the existing holes I'll use knobs on the top drawers and I'll probably use some sort of pulls on the bottom drawer.

Here are more pictures. I'm curious what kind of wood it is made of. I think the wood is too smooth to have had veneer.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 3:21PM
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ideefixe - be patient with me for pics of the molas. My youngest is coming home in a few hours (haven't seen him since May!) and I'm just home from the grocery store, about to start cooking.

oceangirl I'll get more pics of mine, the back and closer looks at the wood - this is really something.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 5:01PM
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HERE WE GO-- first -- I may be wrong-- so take this as you like. I have stripped several pieces in the similar state -- A piece that has been painted years ago-who knows when-- I think it was a Princess Dresser that had lost it's mirror and looked like heck. whoever painted it, did not realize that they had sealed it's fate when they painted it. It was a imitation grain piece-- not the real wood it was "faked" to look like. (probably meant to look like quarter sawn oak. once painted there is no way to just "restore" the intended look..when you strip the paint off -- along with the paint goes the fake graining. You can tell it is fake by looking at what is left of the fake grain -- it goes across the joints in the "base-wood" boards. The ways to deal with this is to repaint it to a color you like, or to strip it very-very thoroughly as to erase all traces of the fake graining. The base wood is usually boring -- stain it to the tone you like -Good luck!-- It can be made to be attractive!! Mark

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 12:24AM
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