Tuesday, May 31, 2016

An Antique Empire Dresser in Sage

New favorite piece of furniture ever. I can't even remember what the most recent one was, probably a hutch, I'm such a sucker for hutches. But I'm an even bigger sucker for Empire dressers, and there's a few reasons why, and why this one is the best among them.

        First, they're the earliest pieces that I work on. I wouldn't touch anything earlier (before 1840), and maybe because of their age, they often look the most pathetic and bedraggled when I get them. So it's really really effing satisfying to bring these pieces back to life! And this one, it was the perfect combination of looking like a hot mess, but actually being pretty damn sound. The drawers worked okay, I had to reattach a couple bottom boards, and I actually had to reattach both feet (p.s. THOSE FEET!!!!), but the feet still had the dowels, so they're tighter and stronger than they've ever been. And this antique dresser was jam packed with surprises. First, my god, the form. Those acanthus leaf carved columns!!! And the feet. THOSE FEET!! Then when I went to sand the top, fully expecting a couple eastern white pine boards, nope, a single solid cherry board. Holy moly. And that also means it was almost certainly made right here in Connecticut, right around 1860. And then there's the pencil inscription on the bottom of the top left drawer "Send along color options for bed set". I get that. I'm pretty sure I've scrawled that exact note to myself at least once. Gives me goosebumps

          So I painted the piece a pretty eucalyptus, refinished the top, and swapped out the hardware. I was able to take it from start to finish in one day.

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