old country house blog

Sherlock Holmes and the CALYPSO BLUE DRESSER

      My Old Country House is short on closets but large on space, so we use our dressers for EVERYTHING! In fact, I have at least 2 dressers in each room in my house…I confess, I have a thing for dressers…I cannot have enough dressers…they are practical and functional and can still be had for a song…if you keep your eyes open.
      which leads me to a few weeks ago…when I did a double take driving to the library and stopped at a yard sale and got this awesome dresser for a whopping $40!!!
     I expected there to be some surprises…as there always can be…but instead, it kept getting better and better. The drawers run smooth, and it had all of the original gorgeous brass hardware. The Only problem was that it had been “refinished” down to its original wood and then varnished all shiney…but with more of a gloss finish than I care for. So I PAINTED IT!!!

 I decided to go with a deep teal blue called 
Calypso Blue by Benjamin Moore. 
I used a Pearl finish (my absolute FAVE) 
and used a foam roller 
(the ONLY way to go -besides spraying –
when painting furniture in my opinion)
to apply the paint. 
The paint went on beautifully 
and by dinner time I had a new dresser in my Living room. 
I cannot even picture the room without it now!!! 
total investment – $52.00 for dresser + paint!!

I have styled the dresser various ways…and have tried a few different lamps..presently I am using the Robert Abbey Pink ones…a Christmas gift!

I am so GaGa over turquoise I have teal cover for my Mac!!! It matches…and that is a good thing!

I got curious when I found that…
there was a signature on the inside of one of the drawers:
dated- March 8, 1890!!!

I completely forgot to take a before picture…
so I went online to see if I could find out a bit more about the dresser. AND…
This is the part I LOVE about the internet..
 “1890 wooden dresser” 
and then I go to “images” and the third image is this:

…….I follow the trail to the original article and
 I also find this “before” photo…

the article says…”Dresser belonged to my wife’s mother.  
The drawer locks are dated July 17, 1893.” It continues…  
“Near as I can tell” (I LOVE this phrase!)”this is an Eastlake dresser.” 
…and adds,   
:The unique thing about the drawers is the Pin and Cove joinery…”
and I think…PIN and Cove!  Precisely!
Wait!!! This dresser looks remarkably familiar!”

Sure enough, I go into the next room and see this dresser.
My Old Childhood Dresser. 

This Cherry
dresser is a piece I have lived with my whole life. 
  MY Mom bought at Good Will
in the 1960’s in Lincoln, Nebraska and refinished to its original Cherry finish. 
The frame on the attached mirror broke, but 
I still have the mirror which I use in our bathroom.
A few years ago, 
despite the fact that for my whole life I heard the story of my Mom
and her friend Lois Cook, stripping the 
hundreds of coats of paint
off this dresser…I painted both pieces. 

So now of course I must know more about what exactly constitutes an 
“Eastlake Dresser” ???
The people at 
WOODmagazine.com seem to know and are dropping the name like 
a juicy piece of celebrity gossip.
Upon GOOGLing
what is an Eastlake Dresser?”

I follow an link which directs me here to 

and a photo of this dresser – 
look familiar?
…and the accompanying  article reads : …
“Your chest is an antique, probably made around 1880 or 1890. The wood is probably walnut, a popular choice for furniture in the Eastlake manner. You can identify the style by the strong vertical lines, incised molding and paneled sides. Note also the shallow carving on the brackets below the top drawer. Eastlake was a reform movement, in contrast to the fussiness of detail-laden Victorian furniture. It was made throughout the East and Midwest in large furniture shops. I think you should find brasses more appropriate to the period. The current handles were made for an 18th-century-style piece. 
Estimate: $1,000 to $1,500.”

well, well well!!!
…..Elementary WATSON! …this looks remarkably like MY NEW/OLD dresser:

…so I think it is safe to deduce that my new dresser IS an 
Eastlake Dresser. (near as I can tell!!!- i LOVE that phrase!)
…and that for $40… I got it for a song!!!
I wonder if my brasses are alsoinappropriate for the period?”
Better watch my brasses!
I am thinking of getting round drops like these…
get MUCH of my inspiration from this company…I Love everything they do…

except the price!

so there you have it…another Mystery solved
 in more than one case…
clearly my taste takes me to
clean lines like the Eastlake Dresser
and I love THE INTERNET 
and finding out all of these fun bits and pieces of the history 
of the furniture in my 

13 thoughts on “Sherlock Holmes and the CALYPSO BLUE DRESSER

  1. Wow, I linked here from someones (forgot whose!) link party because your dresser looked a lot like one I picked up abandoned by the side of the road last weekend! Thanks for doing all the research for me — I definitely have an East Lake dresser. Hooray for freebies! 🙂

  2. Great color choice for your room! That pop of color looks so cool. I have an Eastlake dresser I need to strip and paint. After seeing yours I think I’m going with a bolder color choice too! Deb

  3. I hope you’ll understand my intention when I say, “PLEASE…stop painting Eastlake and other heirloom furniture!” It has survived well over a century and deserves to be treated for what it is–an historic artifact. Save the painting for the cheaper, less well-made pieces that are out there. I used to love painted furniture (and painted some, myself), but now I’m on a mission to find the wonderful old examples before well-meaning people “restore” them by painting. Bless you in all your efforts, and I hope you’ll consider reselling these kinds of items to those who would restore or preserve them in their originally-designed state.

  4. Beginning today I will no longer have conversations with “Anonymous”.

    I feel that I put myself out there, the good the bad the ugly everyday.

    If you have something to say…OWN it, sign your name to it. Especially if you are going to come onto my blog and criticize the thing I do that makes me happy and saves me money.

    Hide behind Anonymous and your comment will be not be allowed.

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