Belding Bros. & Co. Thread Spool Display Cabinet, ca. 1880

Value (2012) | $2,000 Auction$4,000 Retail

I have been collecting a lot of smaller spool cabinets in Maryland area, Pennsylvania area. Went on vacation to California, went into an antique shop, and there it was. And I just... I had to have it.

Well, what you've brought for us is this piece of advertising furniture. An item like this would have shown up in a general store in the late 19th century. And it was obviously to advertise the Belding Brothers & Co. They made fine silk threads. It's in the Eastlake style, which was very current in the day, about 1880. Charles Eastlake was a designer in England. And there's something very enticing about this. All of the colors... Of course, these are all drawers, and they open up. And you can choose your various threads. And I'm guessing when they were on display, they were probably in a rainbow of colors.

Yes, yes.

There is an oak around the door, which gives you a mellow honey color. There's also cherry pilasters down the front. And then on the drawer facades there is mahogany. So all of those colors of wood dance and play off of each other. The other thing about it is the pulls on them. These Eastlake pulls are very fanciful with the little scallops around them. And they are in chrome-plated brass. Any idea of the value of this piece?

I don't know the value of the piece. I will tell you that I paid about $2,000 for it, but I don't know what the value is.

Well, it has a little bit of restoration, which I should talk about, unfortunately. All of the shelving inside the central panel have been replaced. They're glass now, but originally they were wood. And there's a little shadow along the sides, which tell you that. Someone has placed a mirror on the back, which I'm guessing was not original to it, and there's a light put in it. That wonderful clock on the top, which is the Gilbert Clock Co., it's not contemporaneous with the piece itself. So we've got an 1880 chest, but a 1930 clock. But with those problems, I would say that mostly this has no problems. It's really charming. It's eye catching, a lovely piece. You're probably looking at an auction estimate in the $2,000 to $3,000 range. If I saw this in a shop today, I would expect maybe $4,000 for it.

Okay, thank you.

Appraisal Details

Skinner, Inc.
Boston, MA
Appraised value (2012)
$2,000 Auction$4,000 Retail
Myrtle Beach, SC (June 23, 2012)

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