Chicago Antiques Guide

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Another Roos Cedar Chest

Posted Monday, December 26 by Brian

"I recently saw on your site an answer to someone about their Roos cedar chest made by an old Illinois company. We have one (see pictures attached) that has a bit more to it than the one they had. It is in fairly good condition. Finish does show a bit of wear here and there, but no damage. Was wondering if these were any scarcer and what its value is compared to the ones without a clock or the simple waterfall style.

Thank you in advance for your response, Pam"
Another Roos 400.jpg

You've asked several good questions that go to heart of valuation. You either asked a question, or commented on, rarity, style and condition. All are relevant to determining value.

Let's compare the three cedar chests, yours and the two pictured in our post on December 13th. For rarity the Art Deco Waterfall chest pictured on the 13th is the most common of the three, and one of the two or three styles most often seen. Yours would fall in the middle in terms of rarity. I have seen a number of these with the clock and extra compartments through the years. In fact there is one in the Oakton Street Antique Center right now, unless it sold in the last few days. The other one pictured on the 13th that looks more like a low boy chest, I have never seen before. I have had some involvement with antiques since the late 1970's.

In regard to style, I have only recently seen the demand for Art Deco Waterfall start to go up. It still doesn't sell very quickly for me. Yours is more of a blending of Art Deco and several more traditional styles. Because your chest has so much "going on", it is more desireable than the plainer waterfall. The style of the other chest pictured on the 13th is based on traditional 18th century English designs that were copied and reinterpreted here. You could go into Plunketts today and still see dining room and bedroom furniture with very similar design. Because of its very traditional styling, it would probably appeal to more people, and would "fit in" with what they already own better than the Art Deco pieces.

Condition is harder to factor in when comparing different styles. When I value a piece of furniture, I mentally start with what I feel the piece would be worth in excellent condtion and adjust accordingly.

Despite your comment about it showing "a bit of wear here and there", your chest appears to be in excellent condition. I would think it would sell in the $450-$550 range in most shops.

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