Skip to main content

Ask the Experts: WWI-era chest could be worth up to $700

In the latest installment of Ask the Experts, Dr. G. Marcelos fields inquiries about decanters and a dresser identified as a WWI-era chest of drawers.

Q I recently bought this dresser at a yard sale. The only marking I can find is on the lock plate on the drawer. Made by the Sligh Furniture Company. Can you help to determine if this is an antique or its age?
— M.M., via email

Dresser Presents As From WWI-Era


Chest of drawers in question.

A M.M.'s acquisition of a dresser recently reveals a label showing it was made by the Sligh Furniture Co.

The company operated in Michigan, mainly Grand Rapids, from 1880-1932. During this time it made a wide variety of furniture in many styles using many different kinds of wood, etc. Most of its furniture was for the bedroom. The chest of drawer is probably walnut and from the period around WWI. The label changes several times so if a photo is available we may be able to tell within 10 years the age of this chest of drawers. Sligh furniture has a fairly high market value for most pieces in fine condition. We cannot tell from the one photo exactly the state of condition of this piece.

On the average, this chest of drawers would sell in the right venue for $500 to $700, in fine condition. As a single item, it would be harder to sell unless the buyer already has other pieces of this design. Close inspection would be warranted to insure all parts are present and work as designed.

Location May Aid in Divesting Of Decanters

QI have some old whiskey decanters and I’m wondering if they are worth anything or not. Any information can help. I am attaching pics. I live in Louisville, Kentucky, so if you know of someone in the area I could talk to, please let me know.
Thanks for your help.
— M.T., via email

A M.T. has an assortment of whiskey bottles and decanters. How many? We do not know, but

Bottles and decanter collection

Sample of the collection of bottles and decanters.

several are shown in the photos she sent including Old Forrester and Jim Beam. There is a large following of these with collectors assembling everything from very old bottles of the 1800s when they were corked to more recent issues such as the one shown here from the last 30-40 years. Jim Beam decanters are widely collected, and some issues or designs command top prices.

That said, the majority of the bottles and decanters collected today sell for $20 to $85. Older bottles from before 1850, especially those from famous glass manufacturers go for hundreds or thousands of dollars. And some Beam decanters can go into the hundreds. None of the items shown would go for that much, but as a collection, the total value could add up quickly. Because of weight most collections do not travel far.

Fortunately, M.T. is in Louisville, which is one of the hot spots for this type of collectable. The items shown appear to be in average condition, and some show minor damage. None are rare.

Weekly Showcase



Over 100 YEARS of Chinese History - Our pristine Jade Collection is extensive and beautiful!  Please visit our web site to get an idea of how beautiful this collection is.