Personal Effects, Feb. 18

Published 8:56 am Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Contributing writer

Question: Hello Mr. Sampson, we purchased this table several years ago for $35 just because we had never seen anything like it before. The top drawer is a normal one, but the bottom rotates and looks like it would hold sewing supplies.

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Can you give us some idea of its history and possible price? Thank you

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Answer: Indeed you are right. You have a sewing cabinet. The top drawer holds fabric and other supplies, while the revolving drawer holds spools and other necessities for sewing. Handy indeed.

This clever sewing cabinet is kind of a run off from the ever popular, Hepplewhite style. You can tell it’s this style from the tapering legs, the fluting, that gentle scalloped apron and those oval brass drawer pulls.

It dates to the late 1940s to the 1950s. This was a very popular style for the time. It was popular in the early 1820s too. However, with service men returning back to the USA after World War II and starting homes of their own it was a no brainer for a classic, yet not fussy look.

I would say that it’s mahogany wood. But by this time, the mahogany was second or third growth and didn’t have the grain and depth that the early mahogany had. It could have been made by any number of American furniture companies at the time. The area of upper Michigan and Indiana had dozens and dozens at one time.

I like this little table. Its small size is perfect for those downsizing or for that one spot that needs are table.

Don’t be horrified, but these pieces are great painted. You can see them all the time in the home magazines. Remember, the market for traditional “brown” furniture is at an all time low and things cheap in value get painted. In this case it won’t hurt it too much. Regardless, I hope that you enjoy it in whatever color you want.

This could have been bought in a nice department store for likely $8 or $10 back in the day. Today, I’d wager that you’d see this in a store priced at about $85. So you didn’t do super great but you didn’t loose anything AND you gained a cool little table. Thanks for sharing it with us.