Chicago Antiques Guide

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Birdseye Maple Bedroom Set

Posted Thursday, October 26 by Brian

Birdseye Washstand.jpg
We have a Birdseye Maple Bedroom set that was owned by my husbands great great grandfather, who was a doctor. The Headboard of the bed is six foot tall, and the footboard is between 3 and four feet tall. The posts on the headboard have black walnut inlayed flowers. The dresser has a full length attached beveled glass mirror. The dresser itself has a mirror back of the top of the dresser, and then there is a shelf above that. The attached mirror's posts also have black walnut inlays. The vanity has an oval beveled glass mirror and there are little shelves on each side. I don’t know the right terminology, but the set is held together with like a peg and grove instead of any nuts and bolts. The handles are very decorative brass. We would like to sell this set, but have no idea how to find out how much it is worth. Could you give us a ball park figure, if we have something quite valuable, or??? Thank-you for your assistance.


Birdseye Combo.jpg I should start by saying that I haven't seen a set quite like yours. So, it makes it a little harder to come up with a value. It appears to be very good quality and in very good condition. The two "dressers" are rather unusual in design.

The piece with the small mirror is a wash stand. It would have had the pitcher and bowl and other pieces associated with a wash set, like a soap dish, toothbrush holder, and water glass. The two small raised shelves are candle shelves. The bar running under the mirror is a towel rack.

The taller piece is a combination chest of drawers and cheval mirror, which is a full length mirror that swings in a frame. The door near the top left is a "hat box" compartment.

Birdseye Detail.jpg You did not say how soon after the Civil War he moved to Wisconsin. The set was probably made between 1885 and 1915. So whether he brought it with him or bought it there would depend on the timing of the move. Sometimes family lore about an item is distorted or inaccurate, and yes sometimes I'm wrong. But, that is my best estimate of age.

I would expect the set to sell in the $1,200 to $1,500 range, where I sell, near Ohare Airport. What it would actually sell for, where you are, would depend on the demographics of the area in which it is sold, and how quickly you want it to sell. In a very upscale shop it could bring more. In an economically depressed area less.

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I have a 5-key-hole birds' eye maple dresser; however, mine is more of a blonde wood.  Where can I find information regarding that type of birds' eye maple?

I have a 5-key-hole birds' eye maple dresser; however, mine is more of a blonde wood.  Where can I find information regarding that type of birds' eye maple?

I have a 5-key-hole birds' eye maple dresser; however, mine is more of a blonde wood.  Where can I find information regarding that type of birds' eye maple?

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