Valuing and Identifying Antique Cedar Chests: A Guide

If you love antique furniture and collectibles, you’ve likely dreamt of having a fully intact antique cedar chest. Not only are they worth a ton of money, but they are absolutely stunning to look at. The make of these antique chests will also do wonders for boosting your home security (and in style). For those who need help on this journey, here is a useful guide for valuing and identifying antique cedar chests:

Who is the Manufacturer?

If you can locate the actual signature of the manufacturer on your chest, you can be nearly guaranteed that you own a legitimately original design of the chest you’re examining. Not only does this make them a true antique, but it ups their value significantly. Pre-1980s, chest manufacturers, especially cedar chest manufacturers, were widely known to label their best work with a physical signature (so be sure to look hard for any signs that may be on your chest).

Any Signs of Wear and Tear?

When looking for qualities that could devalue or potentially harm your cedar chest, you’ll want to begin by looking for any obvious signs of wear and tear. Worn-out lines, cracks, and chipping are some of the most common wear and tear that you’ll come across. Water damage and other various damages are frequently found on antique cedar chests, as well. If you’re not confident in your ability to examine the condition of your antique cedar chest, you may want to leave this important tip to a professional, however.

What Type of Wood are We Talking About?

Understanding the type of wood your antique cedar chest is made from, and what condition that wood is currently in, is critical to identifying its value. If you have multiple chests made by the same manufacturers, you’ll need to look into how the state, quality, and make of the wood differs between them. Doing so can help you date them more accurately. If you’re unlucky enough to own a fake antique chest, you’ll be able to identify its forged nature most easily by judging the state and type of wood. A quality chest can make you look charming, sophisticated, and stylish.

What Type of Hardware Was Used in its Construction?

Alongside analyzing the wood of your antique cedar chest, you’ll need to look at the metal parts, and hardware details of the chest as well. Doing so can further your ability to both value your chest, and determine whether or not it’s actually authentic. Most antique chests are crafted using pure wrought iron, so this can be a great place to start. Looking into the dovetails, which are meshing joints created at two perpendicular angles, is crucial as well.

Do You Know the Cedar Chest’s Age?

If you can accurately determine your antique cedar chest’s age, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition. In some cases, your chest may have a date marked on its surface by a manufacturer. For antique chests, cedar chest manufacturers frequently burned on these dates as a sign of both quality and authenticity.

How is the Craftsmanship?

After you’ve handled all the details that we’ve discussed above, you’ll want to take a deeper dive into the craftsmanship of your cedar chest. Looking into a professional examiner is highly recommended at this stage, as it can help you feel more confident about the value of your antique cedar chest. They will have the knowledge and experience needed to accurately judge your antique cedar chest.

Determine the Condition of Your Cedar Chest

Lastly, you’ll want to do one last deep dive into the condition of your choice. Once again, a professional antique or chest examiner is heavily recommended. The more time you take into looking into the current condition of your chest, the more information you’ll have when you go to repair and restore your chest to an optimal condition. If you manage to get an antique cedar chest in stellar condition, you’ll have a highly valuable piece of history on your hands. For both collectors and sellers, this is the ultimate goal that you’re aiming for.

Perfect Your Antique Cedar Chest

With this guide, you can quickly assess the value of your antique cedar chest, and take any steps that are needed to restore it to its full glory. Tons of possible repairs could be needed, and many minute signs of authenticity to look for with antique cedar chests, so be ready to put in some hard work! Doing so can help you get your hands on an antique that you’ll value for the rest of your life (or that you’ll make a lot of money off of).

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