Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Craig's List Treasure

Since the roses worked so hard on Saturday at the nursery opening and Open House, I decided to reward them on Sunday with a quick trip through the Antiques section of our local Craig's List.  Scattered in among the chairs and tables and trunks and other paraphernalia listed for sale, I found a true treasure.

You are looking at a dental cabinet manufactured by the American Cabinet Company in the 1920s.  The case is wood, and the drawer insides and slides are metal.  It originally had milk glass tray liners for most of the drawers, but these are long gone.  It does, however, still have the milk glass insides of the upper cabinets.

When it was new, it wore mahogany veneer and dark stain.  Sometime in its life, someone painted it white and used it as a tool cabinet. 

The woman I bought it from started to strip off the paint, but she didn't get very far into the job before she gave up.  It shouldn't be too hard to remove the rest of the paint on this beauty (being as I have stripped acres and acres of paint off the surfaces on the inside of this old house of ours, I have tons of experience).  It will, however, be a challenge to get rid of the sander burns and gouges in the lower left drawers.

Someone stripped the mahogany veneer off of the sides of this piece.  The secondary wood is chestnut ... a species that has been extinct for a LONG time ... but it's not NICE chestnut that I can sand and stain and leave exposed, darn it!  Part of me is saying that I should repair this piece as well as I can, and repaint it.

Notice the knobs?  They're faceted black glass!  I'm missing two of the small ones ... I wonder if I can find replacements?  The pressed 'mock leaded glass' in the upper doors is in really good condition.  The beveled mirror has just the right amount of staining and flaking to make it perfect! 

While I was searching, I found an eBay listing for a cabinet that is IDENTICAL to mine.  Trust me when I tell you that I paid a tiny fraction of the auction price for mine.

(eBay listing photo)

This thing is incredibly heavy, and the only way The Husband and I could get it out of the truck yesterday afternoon was to remove all of the drawers first.  As we did, we found little treasures that had fallen behind the drawers.  Who knows how long these pharmaceutical samples have been there?

A part of the packaging for some sort of stomach medicine.

This is an antiseptic apparently meant for stylish, well-dressed gentlemen.

This muscle relaxant is still prescribed today, without the Tylenol and Codeine in the current formulation.

With everything else going on around here, I do not know when I will find the time or energy to attack this project.  I also have no idea where it will go once it IS finished.  What I DO know is that I love this piece, and I would have kicked myself forever if I had passed it by. 

For now, this cabinet will stay in the garage with all of my other treasured diamonds-in-the-rough. 

Have you found any treasures recently?


  1. That is such a great piece. I haven't found any treasures lately. Partly because I haven't been looking and partly because we've been up at the cabin a lot.

  2. That is truly a treasure and I'm so glad you got it. I can't wait to see how you spruce her up! Great find! Nothing big found here lately. hugs, Linda

  3. Wow, that is fantastic! The first thing i noticed about it were the burns from the sander...oops. All things add character to the story though.

    I particularly love the glass in the doors, so pretty!

    ENjoy it!
    Im glad you had a good opening day!

  4. When you emailed me about this I was hoping this was the kind of cabinet you were talking about! It's gorgeous and I know you will find just the right place for it! I also know you will work your magic on it and it will be a show stopper once you are through with it. You should use chalk paint on it!

    Kat :)

  5. Oh Connie I absolutely LOVE THIS PIECE!!!!........

  6. What a great find! How cool too, that you found the old medications!

    I can't wait to see your diamond when it's polished!

  7. It's a piece I would have loved digging through as a child! Oh what could possibly be in those many drawers?

  8. Holy Moley - Seriously??? You always find teh best stuff! Craigs list never has anything remotely that cool around here. I am in love with that cabinet - you're a lucky girl!!

  9. I LOVE IT!!! I can't allow myself to search for treasures anymore, I've run out of room. *tear

  10. Wow that is a treasure! How neat! I would love to see what you end up doing with it. :)

  11. I'm speechless. It's an amazing find! I wish I was compelled to take on such projects because I bet it feels so awesome when it's finished.

  12. What a great find...must have been so exciting to spot it!

  13. It's gorgeous! Great piece. Wherever it goes, you're going to just love it. I covet the glass knobs. They are fantastic!

  14. You have great talent and energy to tackle such a complicated project! I know you'll have it looking perfectly amazing and find the perfect location for it, too.

  15. I love this treasure! My mom is all about true restoration and staining the wood but I think paint would be awesome on this piece. Can't wait to see what you do (eventually) do with it. If you need a place to put it let me know - LOL!

  16. Connie, what a treasure indeed. Love it. Hope you find time to fix it up soon.


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