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Look What My Daddy Got Me!!

Written By: Jodi on October 10, 2008 One Comment

My aunt and her husband are moving out of their home and had an auction last weekend. I forgot about it and didn’t go, but my dad took care of me!

This belonged to my great-grandma Darling.  She’s the only great grandparent I actually met, although I was very young when she died and only remember her from pictures.  She was the mother of my grandma.

It’s her sewing cabinet. :-)


It has this nifty sliding tray in the top drawer.

Here it is with the side compartment drawers open. I guess you’d put your mending or larger items in there.

I do need to do a little work on it.  There are some superficial scratches, a water mark and a stuck bottom drawer, but considering its age, I think it’s in pretty good shape.  The doily was inside one of those drawers, I don’t know who or where it came from originally.

I did a little research and found the following about this style of cabinet, which is called a Martha Washington cabinet:

“The cabinets that are called Martha Washington today generally have two or more drawers in the center flanked by half round compartments on each side of the cabinet that are covered by a shaped lid that usually works on concealed hinges.

Martha’s original sewing cabinet was a small work table, open below or shielded by a drop cloth, with two compartments for material on each end. They were made in America from the 1780s to the mid 1800s. The current version with three drawers and two flat top lids, which incorporated the newly developed “Soss” type invisible hinge, over the material compartments, showed up in the 1920s as part of the “novelty” furniture movement. This was aimed at producing smaller, inexpensive articles like tea carts, magazine racks and smoking stands that people could afford to buy during the Depression era when they could not afford large dining room sets or bedroom sets.”

I would guess this is from the Depression Era and the hinges are not fully hidden.  I couldn’t find any dates or markings on it, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t an expensive piece.  It just has sentimental value for me.  Right now I’m using the cabinet as a hallway table.  Hopefully I can get that drawer fixed!  It’s on wooden runners so I don’t think the soap or silicone tricks are going to work on it.

But, seriously, isn’t that cool?  I’m just thrilled!

My dad also got some photo albums holding recipes that was my grandma’s (I can recognize the ones that are in her handwriting), my grandpa’s WWI army helmet for my mom and a wallpapering table that my grandpa made for himself.  We all got items that mean something to us.  :-)

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One Response to “Look What My Daddy Got Me!!”

  1. Gina says on: 13 October 2008 at 4:08 pm

    that is so awesome! a martha washington.. who would’ve guessed. too cool!

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