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Help with Bow-Front Oak Highboy Dresser

Posted by necindy (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 24, 09 at 14:38

I would so appreciate if anyone can tell me about the antique highboy/gentlemans dresser I have? Any guess on the value would be most helpful!

I bought it just before I got married as a near match to my antique dresser and commode. I needed one with a hat box door, for my soon to be husband to store his Navy uniform hat.

Ill see if I can get the pictures to link--please let me know if you need to see something more.

Antique Dresser

This is what I DO know about the piece.

- I purchased it while I lived in Austin, TX around 1979
- the dimensions are 48" H x 33" W x 18.25" D
- I refinished it then, and Im pretty certain I replaced the handle hardware and possibly the door knob. I had brass reproduction hardware to match my 2 pieces.
- It looks like a mirror might have attached at the back, but I never had one for it.
- the sticker on the back identifies it as "The Continental Furniture Company" but it looks like the style info and all were written in pencil by hand. I can maybe make out that it was to, maybe Jeff?
- I believe the wood wheels are original
- the bottom drawer bottom has rubbed a hole all the way through from one of the two the metal "guides" under the drawers.
- the sides appear to have veneer that is partially worn, but the rest seems solid.

Thank you! Ive tried to look around online and found very little that were bow-front with the hat box.

Here is a link that might be useful: Antique Dresser


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help with Bow-Front Oak Highboy Dresser

Nice Oak Highboy, and you did a respectable job of refinishing. The hole in the bottom drawer is your biggest problem (that I can see) If that is the only drawer with problems -- thats good. The reason the bottom has a hole in the bottom is that drawer side either broke off or wore out. I would suspect broke off if the other drawers are OK. That is unless the earlier owners only stored heavy items in that drawer. It needs a new bottom -- but that is useless unless you fix the bad side. These drawers usually will "knock apart easily if you do it slowly and carefully. When apart -- the side can be ripped (table-saw) down to a undamaged part of the side. Then a new piece of the same thickness can be glued back on. Usually one has to rip a new slot for the bottom to fit in. When glueing it back together -- only glue the dovetails to the front and the sides to the back. DO NOT glue the bottom in -it is supposed to "float in the opening and be "tacked in the backside to the rear side of the drawer.
This is not as hard as it may sound especially if you have access to a good table saw -- Good luck!!
Tell you fiance "thanks for serving in the military --I was in the USAF "many years ago in a galaxy far-far away"


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RE: Help with Bow-Front Oak Highboy Dresser

Thank you Mark! Actually...I was less than clear...I did the buying, refinishing and ... marrying30 years ago now :) In May my husband retires from his now reserve duty. And, thank YOU for your service in the Air Force! My husband works on an AF Base, actually has since he got off of active duty.

I thought it looked like, on the small drawers anyway, that the drawer bottom was slid in from behind--which I think is what you are saying to repair that one drawer. Naturally, we don't have a table saw, but I hadn't thought about doing the repair the way you mention--I like your suggestion, keeping most of the original bottom intact!

I think I need to sell this piece though, we have one son moving back home today, and another at the end of January...I've had to empty rooms for them. Hopefully the older of the two will get back on his feet and get a career rolling, but the younger might be here a while.

Do you have any idea what this might be worth, if I don't fix it, or if I do? I've seen thin boards like what is on the drawer bottom, perhaps I can do the repair pretty quickly, though I'm not positive what will keep it from happening again--maybe it was just the weight in the drawer that caused the problem?

In any case, thank you so much for your suggestion. We have all the boys here later today, maybe I can get them to help fix this so I can sell it in better condition. I'm just not seeing ones with the hat box, bow front, quarter-sawn wood (I guess just the drawers?) veneer on the sides and no mirror. I'm guessing it is from the early 1900's, but I'm just so unsure of the value!!!

Thank you!


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RE: Help with Bow-Front Oak Highboy Dresser

I ran across a couple, similar style (quartersawn oak, bow front/drawer, hat box), but they have a mirror.

Here's one on ebay.

Here's another, scroll down to about the 9th photo. Click on it for a closeup view. Sold for $2450.


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RE: Help with Bow-Front Oak Highboy Dresser

I'm probably going to be flamed for this but if it turns out that your piece is that valuable, you might want to take it to someone who can restore your drawer rather than trying to do it yourself.


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RE: Help with Bow-Front Oak Highboy Dresser

Also, if a piece is refinished, it reduces the value considerably.


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RE: Help with Bow-Front Oak Highboy Dresser

blueheron, your statement is incorrect .Refinishing a piece and it's loss of value has to be based on a piece by piece basis. This statement does not hold true as a blanket comment for all antiques.


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