How to Find Out Who Made a Cedar Chest
Identifying the maker of a cedar chest can be a challenging task, but fortunately, there are many free outlets that you can use to your advantage. Information on the cedar chest maker can be helpful for someone who wishes to sell or buy the chest, as the manufacturer will largely determine the cedar chest's worth. When researching an antique or furniture item, it's important to avoid getting discouraged. Someone, somewhere will be able to identify the cedar chest; it's just a matter of finding that person, so perseverance is key.
Examine the cedar chest for a maker's mark or company name. In antique chests or newer high-quality chests, this mark is usually burned or stamped onto the wood; a few may have a paper tag. In the case of newer low-quality chests, there may be a sticker. The maker's mark or brand name may be located on the underside of the lid, inside the chest, or even on the bottom.
Photograph the chest with a digital camera. You'll need to photograph the entire chest from several different angles, along with the various components of the chest. You will need photos of the feet, the interior of the chest, and any distinguishing elements like the latch, the hinges and the handles, along with carvings and embellishments.
Search online auction sites like eBay for cedar chest auctions. View the photographs to look for the same or similar cedar chests. It's likely that the auction listing will include information on the maker; you can also ask the seller for information on the maker if it's not included in the listing.
Post photos of the cedar chest on a free antiques appraisal site (see Resources.) Sites like instappraisal.com feature message boards where you can post photos of the chest and a request for information on the manufacturer.
Post photos of the unidentified cedar chest on the eBay antiques forum and request information on the maker. Antiques experts frequent these forums and it's possible that one may recognize the chest.
Post photos of the chest on a free Q&A site like AllExperts.com. Experts in furniture and antiques volunteer their time to answer questions and it's possible that one will have information on the chest.
Write down the names of each website where you've posted a request for information or use your browser's bookmark feature to mark the page so you can perform regular checks of your posts on the free appraisal sites and forums to see if you have any replies concerning the maker.
Bring the chest (or very detailed photos) to an antiques appraiser who specializes in furniture. Local appraisers can be found in the phone book or by conducting a search online. It's likely that you will need to pay for the appraisal.
- Even if your chest is not a true antique, an experienced appraiser will be able to provide information on country of origin, approximate date of creation and value.
- If the cedar chest has been in the family, it may be helpful to ask family members about the history of the chest. This can give you helpful information—like the approximate age of the chest—which can help guide your investigation.
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