Q: I bought a heating stove at an auction and would love to know more about it. It is inscribed “No. 14, Orient, 1888, Bridgeford & Co., Pat’d Dec. 6, 1886.” The stove has pottery tiles with “portraits” on either side of the center opening. Any help on value would be appreciated.
A: The Orient was an “open fire” heating stove patented by Bridgeford & Co. of Louisville, Ky. It was described as “the handsomest, cheapest and most perfect-operating open stove in the market.” The heat could be regulated by adjusting the ventilators in the lower blowers so that the fire didn’t burn out overnight. Bridgeford made stoves for several companies, including the Barstow Stove Co. of New York, which was in business from 1836 until 1929. Several models of the Orient stove were manufactured. Models similar to yours and attributed to Barstow Stove Co. have sold for $500 to $2,000, depending on condition. Many Orient stoves have been completely restored and refinished by their owners.