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Help me identity this beautiful piece

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Dressers744 of 779Wooden Dresser /Buffet ?Not sure if this is an antique?? Dresser
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    Posted 13 years ago

    (1 item)

    I found this beautiful halfmoon chest at a thrift store in Denver and fell in love with it. I wish it could speak and tell me its history. It's handcrafted and the drawers are dovetailed. What was it used for? Any idea how old it is? Or what part of the country (assuming its American) it came from? What would you call the style? What kind of wood -- mahogany or cherry? Check out those wild feet. (Click on the first image for a better view.) I can't find anything like them on the internet. The pull handles may be newer - not sure.
    It appears quite old to me - has a little damage. Antique shop people have been all over the place about its age - have guessed anywhere from the late 1800s to the 1940s. I'd guess around 100 years old.
    Whoever made it did a masterful job. I'd appreciate anything anyone can tell me.

    Mystery Solved
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    1. Vestaswind Vestaswind, 13 years ago
      I have no idea how the money converts, but this will help you with the wood.
    2. Vestaswind Vestaswind, 13 years ago
      Wow okay. That one there is a reproduction of a George III demi lune antique. So if yours is original you have something to go on
    3. cis2you cis2you, 13 years ago
      Beautiful half moon (demi lune)sunburst chest of mahogany with paw feet. These chests are great in an entry hall, or bedside commodes-size considered.
      If I recall correctly, I believe it is called flame mahogany.
      This is a return to elegance and a much favored piece in the south.
      Whether or not it is a reproduction, it would command a good price on the market.
      Note the Hepplewhite pulls.
      wow. great piece.

    4. PoetZoe, 13 years ago
      Ladies, I love your feedback. I can't find a manufacturer's mark on it, but I do find initials scratched on the backs of some drawers. Does that mean it's homemade? The workmanship and carvings on it are exquisite. I paid $90 for it, which I considered a steal. Vestaswind, that link you sent is so interesting. Do you think this piece is also from Belize? I notice the two pieces have the same feet. Cis2you suggests it may come from the south. I know it's hard to tell from photographs. I really appreciate your feedback and interest. I feel incredibly lucky that I found this piece.
    5. Vestaswind Vestaswind, 13 years ago
      For all I know from pictures yours could be original, I have no idea. Sometimes even the reproductions are old. The proof would be in the dovetailing and wood, only I'm no expert.
    6. PoetZoe PoetZoe, 13 years ago
      I was thinking about declaring this a "solved mystery," but now I've run across two more (new) sunburst chests with many identical features. One is "French."
    7. Pop_abides Pop_abides, 13 years ago
      Try to find any books by the Keno brothers at your local library or maybe a Kovels Guide...... I'm almost sure you'd find info there.
      It looks like you're going to have to have some restoration work done so whom ever you contact for that might have info too..
    8. Savoychina1 Savoychina1, 13 years ago
      How about adding a picture of the back and a picture of the bottom of a drawer, showing the dovetail.

      All three of the websites listed are for companies that make reproduction furniture so they have no real value as far as this piece is concerned.
    9. PoetZoe PoetZoe, 13 years ago
      I will add those photos this evening. Please check back and let me know what you think. Thanks.
      And thank you, Pop Abides, for the book and guide information.
    10. PoetZoe PoetZoe, 13 years ago
      I just added two more photos - one of the back of the chest, and the other of a dovetailed drawer. Lettering was scratched into the back of each drawer, which seems to indicate which opening each drawer goes into. This one has three x's because it's the third drawer down. All of the drawers have "ML" scratched into the back of them as well. Not sure what that means.
    11. Pop_abides Pop_abides, 13 years ago
      the 'X'arking on the drawers is common, I've used it myself with lumber crayons but never deep scratches. The drawer side I see only make the mystery deeper because there is no dove tailing where the drawer front joins the side but there is at the back, very unusual. You are going to need some more help on out a professional..
    12. PoetZoe PoetZoe, 13 years ago
      Thanks for your comments. There are a couple of little notches in the front - right in back of the drawer front at the top and bottom. They're hard to see in that photo. Is that not dovetailing? Also, is it odd that there's no manufacturer's mark on this piece? I've checked everywhere. I'd wondered if this piece was homemade until I saw the links above with photos of reproductions -- with the exact same carvings as on my piece.
    13. Savoychina1 Savoychina1, 13 years ago

      As soon as I saw the 4th picture, my heart sank. The absence of dovetailing makes me think it is a reproduction. It is still a handsome cabinet.
    14. tikiray tikiray, 13 years ago
      Not only does the lack of true dovetailing lead to this being a reproduction, but also the color of the drawers. Typically there will be a color difference in the drawer face and the sides/back/inside of the drawer. The overall consistent color in pic 4 points to a reproduction. Also, a lot of reproductions are made with crude "dovetailed" drawers, as yours has. Regardless, it's a beautiful piece! When I was younger and I went to my first auction there was one there just like yours, but a little darker. I bid on it as high as I could, but I lost out. It really is a beautiful.... and at $90, I would buy it all day long!! :)
    15. Pop_abides Pop_abides, 13 years ago
      Zoe, the piece is still very nice and I would try to get someone to replace he missing trim on the one drawer were it mine. That being said it is a good investment and goes back to 'buy what you like' that I was told long ago by a dear friend who is now departed, He was an Antiques Dealer and had his own shop, he always told me " Buy things that you like, you may need to live with them for a long time", I've stayed true to that and it keeps my collecting to a minimum...............ENJOY !
    16. PoetZoe PoetZoe, 13 years ago
      Good advice, Pop. Everyone, I really appreciate your interest and feedback. Original or not, and seemingly not, I love this chest and will enjoy it for as long as I'm around. (And yes - $90 was a bargain!) I don't know much about old furniture and learned a lot from your comments. I'll have some restoration work done one of these days. Whoever gave it away cared enough to save most of the missing trim, which I found in a drawer. I really appreciate that somebody did that.
      Have a great day.

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