Archive for Antiques Knowledge

Antique or vintage?

Antique or Vintage?

Antique or Vintage

Most people, whether they admit to it or not, like a good antique. There’s just something about seeing something old, something of fabulous craftsmanship, that makes us take notice. A diyhomegoddess needs to know the difference between an antique and a vintage piece.

My Story

I am one of these people who actually prefer vintage items over antiques. Yeah, there is a definite beauty in antiques, but I’m a 40s-60s gal myself. My home is filled with vintage pieces, pieces that are made to look vintage, and the occasional antique. At least I THINK they are vintage over antique?

The Real Scoop

Some people think something is an antique if it is over 50 years old. That would include a lot of collectible items. Even this diyhomegoddess would be considered an antique by that definition. But a reputable antique dealer says it has to be at least 100 years old to be considered an antique. That’s the definition for right now. Whew! I’m just vintage.

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Lane Cedar Chest Age

lane cedar chestLane Cedar Chest Age

My Story

lane cedar chest

This is mine, mid century modern.

lane cedar chest

This one is midcentury modern. Check out the industrial adornments

I have a Lane Cedar Chest. Actually, my roommate has one. He had no clue what it was. He got it from a deceased lover. When we saved it from the storage shed, I was thrilled at the condition and the item in general. When I found out it was a Lane Cedar Chest, and potentially legit (not a knockoff, if there is such a thing), I jumped up and down.

What to Look For

The Lane Cedar Chest (or in layman’s term a Hope Chest) is something a lot of people look for at flea markets and antique stores when trying to get an antique or two. Or maybe they are just considered vintage. Yeah, depending on when it was made, it’s probably just vintage, because only a few are more than 100 years old, the age for antiques. They don’t go for a lot of money; it’s more being able to say you have a Lane Cedar Chest. The company stopped making them in 2001. If you want one and see one in decent shape, snap it up!

FYI, Wayfair advertises they sell Lane Cedar Chests. The company hasn’t been open for that long and I don’t think they sell used furniture, so there’s no way they are selling a Lane Cedar Chest. They are selling a cedar chest with another Lane name (such as Birch Lane), or else it’s a generic term for a cedar chest. Same for Joss & Main on their website. So if someone says they have a Lane Cedar Chest for you to buy, check it out first!

How to Determine the Age of a Lane Cedar Chest

lane cedar chest

the date of creation 11/15/1955

If you have a true Lane Cedar Chest, there is a serial number on the lid’s underside of the lid. And if you’re lucky, the original owner kept the paperwork in there as well.

The date of manufacturing is the serial number. And it’s written backwards, in case you are confused. The one I have has a Serial Number of 555111. That means it was manufactured on November 15, 1955. It’s older than me, if you can believe that.

If there is a 7th number in the serial number, that is the plant that manufactured it.. This was always the last number in the series, after the date (so it was at the beginning). The factories were:

lane cedar chest

the warranty paperwork

lane cedar chest

how pretty is this logo?

  • 2 in Virginia
  • 4 in North Carolina
  • 2 in Mississippi
  • 1 in Tennessee

Look for the cool logo in the top.

The paperwork includes a warranty stating it protects cloth items placed inside, and may have the date of manufacture on it. This makes it extra desirable for collectors.

 Styles of the Lane Cedar Chest

There may also be a style number, but unless you are looking for the exact same style, that doesn’t really matter unless you are selling it. My chest says Style No 3271.

  • Traditional chests – The look of an antique. Lined with cedar. Outside woods were Cherry, Maple, Walnut. Included detailed carvings and sometimes upholstery.
  • Mid-Century chests –
    • Danish Modern. Very clean lines, has no adornments except for carved lines in it and the angular feet.
    • Mid-Century Modern. Clean lines and angular feet like the Danish Modern. These are a little more industrial looking. Patterned wood stains. Some had upholstery and/or pull out drawers.
  • Flapper Style chests – 30’s and 40’s.
    • Thematic Art Deco movement. Inlayed woods with geometric designs.  Some had hinged shelving boxes.
    • The Chippendale style had ball and claw feet and ornate carvings.

The Dangerous Locking Mechanism

lane cedar chest

remove this lock!

Remove the lock if you still have the original lock, and it predates 1987. They recalled them due to not being able to open it from the inside. I guess children used to hide in them when playing hide and seek?

  • If you have a chest with a catch or a lock, you need to:
  • Remove the cover if there is one
  • Get a screwdriver (manual is safest) and remove the 3 screws
  • Remove the plate and the lock will be removed
  • If you want to order a new lock, try this phone number (1-800-225-7576)

I did not order a new locking mechanism, because mine is full of stuff. No children will be able to get in there.

lane cedar chest

why contact paper?

lane cedar chest

after contact paper was removed

IMHO, these should not be refurbished, like I did to this vintage console, but should just be cleaned up and repairs done if necessary. The only thing I did was remove some contact paper placed on the top, which apparently was done to protect the chest from further damage.

 Other Research areas:

  • Cause A Frockus – Another history take
  • Chairish – if you want pictures of what a company is selling
  • Ebay – to find examples and what you might want to look at when purchasing


And there you have it. Enough knowledge about a Lane Cedar Chest to get you moving on the path to purchase. Every diyhomegoddess should have one!





Antique Furniture Knowledge – How Do I Get Some?


Antique furniture knowledge is a scary proposition for any diy home goddess. “How am I supposed to know if a piece of furniture is an antique?” you are shouting at me. I can hear you. I promise I can! There are so many fakes out there, you remind me. Reproduction pieces. Revival pieces. Good ones. Bad ones. How can a diy home goddess tell if what she is looking at is real?

antique furniture knowledge

The top is original antique, but the legs are refurbished and recently made.

My Story

Well, I am not an expert on antique furniture knowledge by any means. I did lots of research and collected some books (see later on in the post for my recommended research).

I have gotten taken a time or two, like when I picked up a couple of night stands at an antique flea market, when the dealer said they were mahogany, a matched set, and pretty old. Nope! They were maybe forty years old. And they were definitely not mahogany. The wood was too soft, which I found out when I tried to sand off the layers of paint!

I have found antiques by accident as well, vintage furniture like my poker table, by looking up the label on the underside while I was considering the purchase, as well as items such my radio, which they sold me as one from the 1950’s, when I found out later is was only made in 1938 and 1939! It’s a matter of doing some research first.

What Is An Antique?

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Flea Markets, Boon or Bust?


Flea Markets, Boon or Bust?

I went to the biggest flea market in the DC area this weekend. Over 600 vendors. It’s a flea market for antique dealers. Many of these vendors don’t have a true shop, they just travel to different flea markets to sell their wares.

I go there a couple times a year, trying to get inspired and see what I can pick up that needs loving. That’s where I got my Prohibition Liquor Cabinet, as well as the painted night stands. I’d been watching Flea Market Flip on HGTV lately, and was itching to do something different. Change something.

Flea Market

This Bread/Cake Container just needs some serious cleaning!

Bummer on the loot!

I was more than a little disappointed this time. There were very few pieces I could give love to. Most of the stuff was high end, high dollar, already fixed pieces. It wasn’t the time for a diy goddess to find her way.

  • A lot more jewelry than usual. I don’t like jewelry, and know nothing about it.
  • At least two vendors had exclusively fur coats. Yeah, it’s winter, but seriously?
  • Only one slot machine was discovered under $1000. $1000!
  • A lot of mid century stuff, but nothing that needed the love I had to offer.
  • Very odd vinyl record collections.
  • Antiques out the wazoo. Great! But they were refinished, refurbished, restored, anything but the broken soul I wanted to love.

    Flea Market

    And this is a box they used to ship eggs in. The possibilities for this are endless!

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