Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gilding the Pig's Ear (????)


The furniture spent decades falling into various stages of disrepair.  The drawers that once held shirts and scarves, sweaters and cosmetics eventually became a catchall for mismatched earrings, old letters, knobs and postcards from across the country.   It sits sad and broken in my basement, rescued from my grandmother's old house after repeated pleading with my husband to move it across the state along with about a hundred other items in equally as bad of state.    

My husband insists it's low end furniture and not worth saving, muttering something about gilding a pig's ear. Gilding a pig's ear???  I think he's mixing up silk purses with a lily.  It may very well be low end; however,   I am not too concerned.  It served the family well for decades and will hopefully continue to do so.  It will be perfect for a little seven year old (soon to be eight!). 

My husband is a carpenter after all.  I'm sure no matter the quality, he can fix it up the major flaws so I can fix the finishes.  I wasn't giving up on this set.  The missing drawer is sitting on top so we do have it.


You can't tell a soul about the horrid state of my basement, dead ladybugs and all.  This mirror, currently laying on its side tells all.  I love that it is crackled and hope it isn't peeling.  I'd love to keep the distressed look but may have to fake it out on a some of the pieces.


This is one of the mirrors that belongs with the set and I love the decorative trim.


This dresser will go to my grandaughter's apartment once her mom and I clean it up and repaint. It need knobs and has a fun, wavy front to it.  There is a mirror that can hang above it but she may not be able to use it in the apartment.


This is another one of the mirrors.

This three mirrored piece belongs to the make up table.  It has two small and one larger drawer and has been skirted ever since I can recall.  I will have to make something similar to what I remember.  I would like to put this in my granddaughter's room at our house when I have finished, along with the taller set of drawers.




The paint is too far gone on the make up table so I'll have to sand and repaint.


There is a matching chair that might need to be re caned or perhaps an insert added.


It was Chittenden and Eastman Co out of Burlington Iowa, a place my grandmother once lived.
It turns out that the company dates back to 1866 and is one of the oldest furniture companies known primarily for mattresses and their Square Brand of furniture.

As the 1930s approached, Chittenden & Eastman offered a truly startling array of products to retailers via sales offices in Burlington, Chicago, and Minneapolis. In addition to virtually every imaginable piece of furniture for homes, offices, hospitals, and hotels, the company sold such items as picnic baskets, birdcages, ironing boards, breadboards, carpet sweepers, humidors, refrigerators, baby strollers, playpens, electric vacuum cleaners, tapestries, and rugs. In fact, a full-page ad in the 1928-29 directory American Manufactured Furniture touted the contents of Chittenden & Eastman's 748-page hardcover catalog, claiming: "It has been aptly described as a veritable encyclopedia of the furniture industry, for there are few items that a dealer needs which he will not find illustrated in this unusual catalog.

Link to info

Linking to My Simple Country Living The Country Homemaker Hop 

7 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

NEVER get rid of old furniture. Even BAD old furniture is better built than most modern "good" furniture.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Agreed, at least in the price range that most of us can afford!

Sunnybrook Farm said...

The old stuff at least has style instead of just being glued fiber board and plastic.

Our Neck of the Woods said...

What great pieces! I'd much rather have something old and bring it up to date than buy something brand new. Old pieces have so much more soul!

Candy C. said...

How fun! I can't wait to see some of the restoration work! :)
I must say, the wavy dresser looks like something I have seen in the past, just can't remember where...

Heidi said...

I think you have some wonderful family treasures there Kathy. I am excited to see what you do to them.

Emily Browning said...

I am excited to see what the finished product looks like! I agree with a few of the other comments. Older furniture is much better than the new!