Q: I own a 24-inch-high tiger maple dresser I found in my parents’ attic. In a drawer I found a stamped mark that says, “Widdicomb Company.” On the back of the drawer someone wrote: “Trimmed July 8, 1911, Inspected August 14, 1911, Varnished August 23, 1911, Polished February 2, 1912, and Inspected February 29, 1912.” Any information would be appreciated.
A: John Widdicomb founded his company in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1897. The company's early work focused on interior woodwork and fireplace mantels, but it soon switched to mid-priced bedroom suites and kitchen cabinets. During the 1910s and ’20s, Widdicomb Co. made bedroom suites with matching and contrasting veneers. It continued to make furniture until 2002, when the factory in Grand Rapids closed. L. & J.G. Stickley Co. purchased the company’s remaining assets, and it continues to make Widdicomb reproductions at its factory in Manlius, N.Y. The writing on your dresser shows the steps and dates of its construction. Your dresser is a part of a bedroom suite sold in 1912. A seven-piece Widdicomb tiger maple bedroom suite recently sold for $750 at auction.