Q: About 60 years ago, my father bought my sister a used “hope chest” because she was engaged to be married. Now I have inherited the chest. It’s all cedar, on casters, and is 43 by 19 by 17 inches. A plate inside the chest says, “Manufactured by Universal Cabinet Company, Chicago, Illinois.” What can you tell me about the company, and is the chest worth saving? I’m currently storing wool blankets and clothing in it.

A: The fact that you’re using the chest makes it worth saving. The Universal Cabinet Co. was in business in Chicago during the 1910s and ’20s. It manufactured cedar chests as well as medicine cabinets, mirrors, hat racks, pedestals and floor lamps. Its cedar chests were made of Tennessee red cedar and were advertised as “moth-proof and vermin-proof.” The value of your 20th-century chest depends on its condition. If it’s in excellent original condition, it could be worth up to $500. If your chest has lost its cedar scent, rub the wood with fine sandpaper.