If you have an antique or vintage cedar chest that’s been passed down in your family for generations, you may be wondering what it’s worth today.
Cedar chests were very popular in the early 20th century and many families had one in their home to store valuables like blankets, linen, and clothing.
The aromatic cedar wood made clothes smell nice and helped deter moths and other insects. So how much could your antique cedar chest be worth?
Read on to learn the factors that determine the value and get a reasonable estimate.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer:
Most antique cedar chests sell for $100 to $400 depending on their age, condition, brand, wood quality, and any special features. Rare, highly ornate chests in pristine condition can sell for around $700, up to $2,000.
What Makes Cedar Chests Valuable
Cedar chests are not only beautiful pieces of furniture, but they can also hold significant value.
Several factors contribute to the value of a cedar chest, making it a sought-after item for collectors and enthusiasts alike. Here are some key elements that determine the worth of a cedar chest:
Age and Era
One of the primary factors that influence the value of a cedar chest is its age and the era it belongs to.
Older chests, especially those from the early 20th century or earlier, tend to be more valuable due to their historical significance.
These chests may have unique design elements or craftsmanship that reflect the era in which they were made.
Brand and Craftsmanship
The brand and craftsmanship of a cedar chest play a crucial role in determining its value.
Chests made by renowned furniture manufacturers or crafted by notable artisans are often highly sought after and command higher prices.
The reputation of the brand and the quality of the craftsmanship can significantly impact the value of a cedar chest.
Condition and Care
The condition of a cedar chest is another critical factor in assessing its value.
Chests that are in excellent condition, with minimal wear and tear, will generally be worth more than those that are heavily damaged or have undergone extensive repairs.
Proper care and maintenance, such as regular cleaning and ensuring a suitable environment to prevent damage from moisture or pests, can help preserve the value of a cedar chest.
The quality of the wood used in the construction of a cedar chest contributes to its value.
Cedar wood is highly prized for its natural properties, such as its pleasant aroma and resistance to pests.
Chests made from high-quality cedar wood, with attractive grain patterns and a rich color, are generally more valuable than those made from lower-grade wood or alternative materials.
Hardware and Features
The hardware and features of a cedar chest can also affect its value.
Chests with intricate and ornate hardware, such as brass handles or decorative locks, may be more desirable and thus have a higher value.
Additionally, unique features such as hidden compartments or hand-carved details can add to the allure and worth of a cedar chest.
Most Valuable Cedar Chest Brands
When it comes to determining the value of a cedar chest, the brand can play a significant role.
Certain brands have gained a reputation for producing high-quality cedar chests that are not only functional but also highly sought after by collectors.
Here are some of the most valuable cedar chest brands to look out for:
The Lane brand is synonymous with quality craftsmanship and timeless design. Lane cedar chests are known for their durability and attention to detail.
These chests often feature intricate carvings and beautiful finishes, making them highly desirable among collectors.
In 2023, a Lane cedar chest in excellent condition could be worth $700 or more, depending on the specific model and vintage.
Cedar Chest Manufacturing Co.
The Cedar Chest Manufacturing Co. is another brand that collectors should keep an eye out for.
This company has been producing cedar chests since the early 1900s and is known for its exceptional craftsmanship.
Cedar chests from this brand are often made from high-quality cedar wood and feature unique designs.
In 2023, a Cedar Chest Manufacturing Co. cedar chest could be valued at several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, depending on its condition and rarity.
Seward Trunk & Bag Co.
Seward Trunk & Bag Co. is a reputable brand that has been manufacturing cedar chests for over a century.
Their cedar chests are known for their durability and functionality. These chests often feature sturdy construction and practical storage solutions.
In 2023, a Seward Trunk & Bag Co. cedar chest could be valued at a few hundred dollars or more, depending on its condition and vintage.
Davis Cabinet Co.
The Davis Cabinet Co. is a brand that collectors should keep an eye out for when it comes to cedar chests.
This company has a long history of producing high-quality furniture, including cedar chests. Davis Cabinet Co. cedar chests are often made from solid wood and feature elegant designs.
In 2023, a Davis Cabinet Co. cedar chest could be worth several hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on its condition and rarity.
Globe Wernicke is a brand known for its exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail. While they are primarily known for their bookcases, Globe Wernicke also produced cedar chests of exceptional quality.
These chests often feature intricate woodwork and unique designs.
In 2023, a Globe Wernicke cedar chest could be valued at several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, depending on its condition and rarity.
It’s important to note that the value of a cedar chest can vary based on factors such as its condition, age, rarity, and desirability among collectors.
To get a more accurate estimate of the value of a specific cedar chest, it’s recommended to consult with antique dealers, appraisers, or online platforms that specialize in vintage furniture valuation.
Factors That Increase Value
Art Deco Style
If you are lucky enough to have a cedar chest in an Art Deco style, you may be sitting on a goldmine. These chests, with their sleek lines and geometric patterns, are highly sought after by collectors.
The unique combination of functionality and artistic design makes them a valuable addition to any collection.
Cedar chests adorned with intricate carvings are also highly prized by collectors and can significantly increase their value.
These carvings can range from simple floral patterns to elaborate scenes, adding a touch of elegance and charm to the chest.
The craftsmanship and attention to detail put into these carvings make them a true work of art.
The presence of a cedar lining is not only aesthetically pleasing but also adds value to the chest.
Cedar wood is known for its natural insect-repellent properties, making it an ideal choice for storing linens, clothing, and other valuable items.
The scent of cedar also adds a pleasant aroma to the chest.
The presence of original hardware, such as hinges, locks, and handles, can significantly increase the value of a cedar chest.
These pieces not only add to the overall aesthetic appeal but also provide insight into the age and authenticity of the chest.
Collectors are willing to pay a premium for chests with well-preserved and functioning original hardware.
Dovetail joints are a sign of quality craftsmanship and are often associated with older, more valuable cedar chests.
These interlocking joints provide strength and durability to the chest, ensuring its longevity. The presence of dovetail joints indicates that the chest was constructed with care and attention to detail.
Having documentation that proves the authenticity, age, and history of a cedar chest can greatly increase its value.
This documentation could include receipts, appraisals, or even photographs of the chest from previous owners.
It provides a sense of provenance and adds to the overall intrigue and value of the chest. Collectors often look for chests with well-documented histories and are willing to pay a premium for them.
The presence of documentation can significantly impact the price of the chest, with some fetching prices well above the average market value.
Typical Cedar Chest Prices
For those looking to purchase a cedar chest without breaking the bank, there are several options available for under $500.
These chests may be smaller in size or made from less expensive materials, but they still provide a great storage solution and the aromatic benefits of cedar wood.
Online marketplaces such as eBay and Craigslist often have listings for cedar chests in this price range, so be sure to check them out if you’re on a budget.
$500 – $1,000
In this price range, you can find a wide variety of cedar chests with different styles and features. Some may be vintage or antique pieces, while others are more modern designs.
The quality of craftsmanship and the condition of the chest can also play a role in determining the price.
$1,000 – $2,000
If you’re willing to invest a bit more in a cedar chest, the $1,000 – $2,000 price range offers even more options.
At this price point, you can expect higher-quality materials, intricate designs, and perhaps even some unique features. Many furniture stores, both online and offline, carry cedar chests in this range.
For those looking for a truly exceptional cedar chest, with luxurious materials and impeccable craftsmanship, the price range of over $2,000 is where you’ll find them.
These high-end chests are often handcrafted by skilled artisans, using the finest cedar wood and other premium materials.
Specialized furniture stores and boutiques may carry cedar chests in this price range, or you can explore custom-made options.
Keep in mind that these chests are not only functional but also works of art that can add a touch of elegance to any room.
It’s important to note that these price ranges are just a general guideline, and the actual value of a cedar chest can vary depending on various factors such as condition, age, brand, and market demand.
If you’re interested in buying or selling a cedar chest, it’s always a good idea to research current market trends and consult with experts or appraisers to get a more accurate assessment of its worth.
Cedar chests remain popular on the vintage furniture market because of their nostalgic charm, functionality and aromatic wood.
Well-crafted antique chests from reputable brands like Lane can easily fetch prices in the hundreds or thousands today if they’re in good shape.
There are many factors that determine the worth of an old cedar chest beyond just its age.
Understanding details like the maker, style, condition and features can help you accurately appraise your antique chest.
If you have a chest that’s been passed down in your family for generations, it likely has sentimental value beyond its dollar value.
With proper care and maintenance, your wooden heirloom should continue preserving cherished keepsakes for years to come.