Joseph Bishop Van Sciver Furniture
Q My old desk has a partial label that reads J.B. Van S[something]. It’s kneehole style, with a bank of drawers on each side of the opening and a narrow drawer in the middle. Any chance you can help with the maker and maybe a value?
A Joseph Bishop Van Sciver (1861-1943) was 21 years old in 1881 when he started a small furniture business in Camden, New Jersey. The company quickly expanded to larger facilities, and pieces made at Van Sciver’s plant were delivered by wagon throughout Southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania. By 1900, more shops, storage facilities and showrooms were added, and the company was selling inexpensive, well-made living room, bedroom and dining sets, and more costly reproductions, lamps, clocks, rugs and draperies. Sales declined by the 1970s when business was affected by lower-cost imported furniture. The last location closed in 1985. The price is determined by the style, condition and size. The desks sell for $125 to $500. Tiger maple adds to the value.
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