Q: I recently acquired an antique buffet made in a traditional style. A nameplate in a drawer says “Joerns Bros. Furniture Co., Stevens Point, Wis.” Please tell me something about the maker and what the piece might be worth.
A: Brothers Charles, Paul and Frederick Joerns founded their furniture manufacturing company in St. Paul, Minn., in 1898. Within a few years, the company moved to Sheboygan, Wis., a center of furniture-making at the time. After a fire at the Sheboygan plant, Joerns Brothers Furniture Co. moved again in 1927, this time to Stevens Point. Joerns made high-quality bedroom and dining room sets until the late 1950s, when new management changed the company’s focus to less expensive furniture. When that business model failed, the company began making furniture for nursing homes and has thrived in the health-care business ever since. Your buffet was made after Joerns moved to Stevens Point in 1927, so it is not technically an “antique” because it is not 100 years old. And its traditional style probably indicates that it dates from no later than 1940. But it is a good solid piece of furniture. If it’s in excellent condition, you might get several hundred dollars for it.