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Michelle, Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 1314
Experience:  30+ yrs. experience as an antiques dealer, collector, researcher, columnist and journalist.
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I have an antique Lane (Altavista, VA) cherry cedar hope chest

Resolved Question:

I have an antique Lane (Altavista, VA) cherry cedar hope chest that was my 96 year old aunt's. The family "story" is that it was my grandmother's who was born in 1888(ish); not sure I believe that part. It appears to be hand-made by looking at the scalloped bottom and inside it says in the left hand corner on the top: "Features of this chest covered by Patent No's(NNN) NNN-NNNN1759402-1830281-1875247-1890999 Other U.S. and foreign patents pending. It also has a circular Pressure Tested For Aroma Tightness Here engraved and an arrow (also engraved in the cedar) pointing to a small circular spot on the bottom. It is very scratched on top (interesting since my aunt has always been a perfectionist and none of her furniture was ever scratched :) so maybe it had been my grandma's. Can you help me or guide me to someone who can. It would be difficult for me to transport it although I can send pictures if you wish. Thanks so much! Kathie
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Michelle replied 5 years ago.
Hello, Michelle here. I appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

Is there a mark on the bottom or back with a brand name or furniture store name?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No furniture store name on back. I cannot lift it but I have a friend coming over Tuesday who can help me lift it and look. I have not seen a furniture store name on it - I thought it was shipped directly from Lane in altavista, va. my aunt was in ny and then nj as was my grandmai looked under it tonite from the floor with a flashlight - but I do need to get someone to help me lift it. I have no memory of a store name being on it though and I moved about 4 months ago. but then again, i wasn't focused on looking for a name on the chest. Can I email you mon or tues when i get someone to help me?omg flipped it over its serial no A81030X serial no 43 31 01 (10/13/'34) what is it worth? and how much was it in 1934?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
omg flipped it over its serial no A81030X serial no 43 31 01 (10/13/'34) what is it worth? and how much was it in 1934?
Expert:  Michelle replied 5 years ago.
In the numbers 43 31 01 this tells us it was made 10 13 43. For some reason Lane reversed the order of the numbers in the month and day, why they did not reverse the order of the year is anyone's guess.

The Lane Furniture Co. began in 1912 as Standard Red Cedar Chest Co., they were and still are located in Alta Vista, VA. Standard changed its name to The Lane Co. in 1922. In 1925 they started a promotion where any female graduating from high school could have a free mini-Lane cedar chest. In the 1930's they had another promo where they would insure the contents of the chest free of charge if the owner would send in a registration card.

The cost for a Lane cedar chest in 1943 was $19.99, I got this from an old magazine ad. The value of your chest right now in its current condition is about $100 - $150 due to the damage on the top. There are loads of Lane cedar chests out there on the market in perfect condition for $150 - $300 and you can purchase a new one for around $400.

Please feel free to ask me additional questions about your cedar chest.

Thank you, Michelle
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