how to date a caswell runyan cedar chest

Dating a Caswell Runyan cedar chest can be a bit challenging, as the company did not typically include manufacturing dates on their products. However, you can try several methods to estimate the age of your Caswell Runyan cedar chest:

  1. Look for Labels or Markings: Carefully inspect the cedar chest for any labels, markings, or tags that might provide information about its age. These labels may be located inside the chest, on the bottom, or sometimes on the back. The label might contain a manufacturer’s name, location, or a model number that can be useful in researching its age.
  2. Examine the Hardware: Pay attention to the hardware, such as handles, locks, and hinges. Changes in hardware styles and designs over the years can sometimes provide clues about the chest’s age.
  3. Consult Vintage Furniture Books: There are books and guides available on vintage and antique furniture that may include information about Caswell Runyan chests. These resources can help you identify design features and characteristics specific to certain time periods.
  4. Online Research: Conduct online research about Caswell Runyan cedar chests and look for historical information about the company’s production history. Some websites, forums, or collectors’ communities might have details about the chest’s age based on design elements or historical records.
  5. Consult Antique Appraisers or Dealers: Antique appraisers and dealers who specialize in vintage furniture may have knowledge and experience with Caswell Runyan cedar chests. They can often provide insights into the chest’s age based on their expertise.
  6. Date Codes on Locks: Some Caswell Runyan chests may have date codes stamped on the locks. These date codes can sometimes be deciphered to determine the manufacturing date.
  7. Join Collectors’ Communities: Participate in online collectors’ forums or communities dedicated to antique furniture. You can post pictures and descriptions of your cedar chest, and experienced collectors may be able to provide insights into its age.
  8. Contact the Manufacturer (if possible): While Caswell Runyan is no longer in business, it’s worth trying to contact the manufacturer’s descendants or any company that might have taken over their assets. They may have historical records or insights into the age of their products.

Keep in mind that dating antique furniture is not always precise, and the information you gather may only provide an estimate of the chest’s age. Antique cedar chests can vary in value depending on factors like age, condition, design, and historical significance.

If you’re interested in selling or insuring your Caswell Runyan cedar chest, consider getting it appraised by a professional antique appraiser who can provide a more accurate assessment of its age and value.

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