While it is usually quite easy to identify things like antique silverware in Lancashire, Victorian oak pedestal desks and similar furniture can take a bit more thought.
Recently, the buyer of a handsome piece of antique marquetry furniture in Chicago was left perplexed by the maker’s mark. The piece, a kidney-shaped desk with complex inlays and veneers, bore a brass tag with the name Colby’s. The owner knew of Colby’s as a department store and wanted to know if the desk had also been manufactured by the store, or whether it had simply attached the label.
Anyone in Cumbria with an antique dining table or Victorian balloon back dining chair will know the importance of a good name – and also the frustration of not knowing the history of the piece. In the case of the Colby desk, an expert in American antique furniture was able to give the owner some much-needed information on the age and origins of the item.
Colby’s was the most recent name for a firm founded in 1869 by Jacob Wirts and John Colby, who ceased producing their own furniture in the 1920s. However, they continued to act as a retailer for several important manufacturers. It was suggested the piece was by the Widdicomb Furniture Co, who specialised in kidney-shaped furniture, copying Italian and Venetian Revival designs.
When looking for fine furniture such as Antique Oak Partners Desks, a Lancashire antique dealer should be able to supply any facts the buyer needs to know.
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