Q: My niece inherited a dining room table from her grandmother. It has a label that says ‘Alliance Furniture Co., Jamestown, N.Y.’ Could you give me some information on the company? The tabletop needs some work. Would refinishing hurt the value?
A: Alliance Furniture Co. was founded in 1905 by a group of eight partners of Swedish heritage. The company manufactured high-quality dining room furniture until at least the 1950s. Your niece should feel comfortable having the tabletop refinished. The table is a good one, but it isn’t so valuable that it shouldn’t be touched. Just be sure she finds a qualified craftsperson to do the refinishing.