Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Antique Spool Chests

Shortly after I got married,
my mom and dad  
delivered a load of antiques
to our first home 
in Evanston, Illinois.

One of my most favorite things
that they brought to me 
was this old spool chest 
that my mom had found 
when she owned an antique shop 
in the 1970's and 80's.

I love letters and numbers
on old advertising pieces.

 furniture-quality cabinets 
were specially made 
to display simple household items
reflecting a time
when companies took extra care
to present their wares 
in a handsome fashion.

This piece was no exception.

I would love to have more
of them in my house.
Take a look at the side panels.


I have seen many spool chests
in recent years. I wish they
weren't so pricey!

This is a version
like one my mother's dear friend
Ida owns. It is a round glass
cabinet showcase that holds the colored
spools of thread. I love this style!

I also saw a similar antique display case
a couple of years ago at an estate sale.
It was a large general store cabinet 
for spools of ribbons.
It looked very much like the one below.

The ribbon spools sat in rows along these shelves
that were made of wooden rods.

Here is a brief history 
on American spool chests
(as taken from Reference.com)
in case you 
would like to know more.

Vintage Sewing Machine
Gorgeous image I found on Pinterest 

"Sewing spool cabinets were first manufactured in the 20th century after the sewing machine was invented in 1844. As a result women no longer had to spin their own cotton, companies started manufacturing spools of thread and selling it in general stores. The spool cabinets were manufactured to display the spools of thread so that customers would have an easy time finding exactly what they needed. 
Some popular manufacturers were Geo A. Clark, Potter, Heminway, and J.P. Coats. Each company came out with lavish and unique designs to try and out do the competition. Because of this most cabinets were made from the best quality wood such as walnut, oak, or maple. If you are looking to buy an antique spool cabinet make sure you buy from a specialist who will give you a written statement of authenticity. Some things to look for when searching for an antique spool cabinet are original lettering, pressed composition panels on draw fronts, original surface, and original hardware (there have been books published that show the correct hardware for each kind of spool cabinet)."






 Do you have any old advertising
display pieces in your home?

Tell me about it!

Spools of thread...


AntiqueChase said...

I've always wanted one! Yours is my favorite.

Rebecca said...

Oh, my! I guess I was unaware of the variety of spool chests! The few I have seen were not nearly as ornate as yours! No wonder they are pricey!

How beautiful...

The enchanted home said...

These are amazing...I WANT ONE! Yours is absolutely stunning and charming.

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

Love the one your mom found! They are beautiful and when I've seen them...pricey for sure! Enjoyed the post Alison...Happy Wednesday!!!

Terri~terrileeauthor said...

Oh you are so lucky...what lovely pieces. I'm with you I love anything with lettering.
Lovely posts.

Salmagundi said...

Great post! I have a Geo. A. Clark walnut spool chest which is signed and dated by the cabinet maker. It was in my Dad's barn with his vice mounted on it. We rescued it 40 years ago, and refurbished the top - one of my favorite possessions. I've never been able to afford another one like your amazing examples; but I do collect ONT Clark's thread smalls like advertising cards, etc. Thanks for sharing your great cabinet. Sally

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Thanks for sharing, I was unaware there were so many styles. fondly ~Lynne~

NanaDiana said...

Oh- I love all of those old cabinets. My favorite though is yours. I have always wanted one for myself. LOVE yours- xo Diana

Pura Vida said...

your kitty has the greenest of eyes! I love this post about old spools..I have an old map chest that is very similar in size and looks...old stuff is just the best!

Andrea said...

what an amazing piece, and I love the history!!

Sarah said...

Alison, I think the one you have from your mom is the prettiest one you showed. Love those side panels. I have a small old piece from my grandmother. I think it is a button case, at least that is what she used it for. It has shallow drawers with little compartments. No writing on it. My mom gave it to me with all my grandmother's mother of pearl buttons in it. I used most of the buttons on a crazy quilt I made in 2000. I love these old pieces with history.

Curtains in My Tree said...

I have had two of these beauties in my house, once I gave one to a sister because she wanted one so bad and couldn't afford them back when they were $600 a piece

Then once I had a down moment and thought I was tired of all my oak furniture and sold every piece to a dealer who dealt in furniture and he was glad to take away my big spool cabinet

That is why I like the shabby chic junk furniture I don't have to have fine Oak antique furniture to be in style LOL

Miss Jean said...

I don't have any, but have always wanted a spool chest of some sort. I quilt so it would be perfect for me. Yours is beautiful.

betsy said...

I love those old spool chests. Yours is definitely the prettiest I've ever seen.

therelishedroost said...

I love these, what a wonderful antique touch to a space!