Ask Antique Trader: Driftwood furniture first popular in the ’40s

Q What can you tell me about this sofa that I bought at a consignment shop a couple of weeks ago. The only thing I know is it is from the 1920s.

— K.H., Ft. Collins, Colo.

A From your photo you appear to have a Victorian, rococo revival settee that you say is from the 1920s. How do you know? Since there is a vast difference in values you should have a hands-on expert examine the piece. A Victorian settee could sell at auction for $2,000, while a 1920s piece could fetch $300-$400.

Q I think this unusual table has a driftwood base. Other than that I know nothing about when or where it was made. I paid $125 for it at a Miami Beach estate sale recently.

— T.C., Hallendale, Fla.

A Items made from driftwood first became popular in the late 1940s and continued into the 1970s, and ’80s. During those years a driftwood dining table could have sold in a shop for $1,000 or more. These days prices can range from $400 to $600 at auction, more in a shop.

Q I need to know an age range for the 2 dressers, side table, chest on chest and mirror inherited 20 years ago. The pieces are stamped according to their description.
— C.C., Kansas City, Kans.

A From your photo your bedroom furniture, in the Federal style, was probably made in the 1920s to 1940s. It has never stopped being reproduced.

Anne Gilbert is a nationally syndicated columnist, author of eight antiques and collectibles books, and is well known for her lectures to business and professional groups. She is a member of the Newspaper Features Council and Society of Illustrators. She can be reached via e-mail at

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