Is my bedroom set genuine Art Deco? : LUSENET : Art Deco Society of Washington : One Thread

Years ago I bought a bedroon set (double bed, chest of drawers, dresser) from a second hand furniture/antique shop. It looks like art deco, but I'm not sure if it is genuine or a later reproduction. The wood is blond maple with a waterfall effect on the drawer fronts. The drawers in the chest and dresser are slightly asymmetrical in placement and the pulls are tortoise shell-look Bakelite. The front corners are rounded. A sticker in a drawer reads: "Built by John since 1891. Patent numbers 108 296, 106 297, 106 298". Does anyone know anything about this company and when my set may have been built?

-- Rose Young (, September 08, 2001


Rose, If you find any answers about your furniture please let me know. I was just given a bedroom set just like you described by my 90 year old aunt that just died. She bought it brand new but I didn't get any paperwork or info on it. I am curious to know exactly what I have. Thanks. Shana

-- Shana Sosa (, March 24, 2002.

I am also interested in finding out about this brand. I have two white antique-finish dressers that I bought from a friend who's grandmother had owned them since the 1900's. The sticker indicates that my pieces were made in Oregon. Keep me in the loop, should you learn anything about this brand. I will do the same.


-- Donna Blythe (, April 28, 2002.

I have an old vanity/desk with a sticker inside the drawer that is "built by john since 1891" I bought it in Seattle for about $250, but I'm sure it has to be worth more. Please let me know if you find anything out about this "builder"

-- Kameron (, October 05, 2002.

i can only ad to this mystery & what a mystery... i have a "built by john" that i found at a downtown santa ana ca. thrift store 18 years ago, its a sideboard/buffet, its art deco styling is what caught my eye, as well as the dark purple paint one of its owners covered it in! i paid $15. for it and slowly stripped it down to find flawless chestnut burl veneer as well as complete hardware,its my favorite piece. having an interest in the deco style, i would assume it safe to say it was designed early on, circa 1930/1935, but i would love to know exactly, as well as learn about its builder.

-- patric reynolds (, November 04, 2002.

I have what sounds like the same bedroom set but have been unable to find details or an interested buyer. Have any of you had any luck? My furniture came from a great grandmother from the St. George area of Utah. I have no other information. Any help would be appraciated. 12/18/2002

-- Dan Koch (, December 18, 2002.

I do not have much info on the suite that my fiance and I have just inherited except that we believe it was made by a company called TriBond. I am trying to find out what exactly we have here.If any one has any ideas, please share them with me! Thank you!!

-- Kristen Kelley (, January 20, 2003.

I have two dressers, a low-boy and a high-boy. They were purchased at a garage sale in Kent, Washington some years ago. I paid $600 for the set, and have been told by an antique dealer in Puyallup, Washington that if I would have paid three times as much that it would have been a good deal.

The coloring is yellow-greenish sage with antique roses painted on the front. The handles are bronze drawer pulls and also open handle pulls.

Mine also has a sticker that reads Built by John since 1891.

I would give anything to find out more about this company and the true value of the dressers. I even had an interior design company paint the antique roses in my bedroom as a border to match.

-- Cheryl Togashi (, March 22, 2003.

On 4/11/03 Thanks, Juliet, I only posted on the message board because it was the first one I'd seen in a long time with "Built by John since 1891" on it. Can you tell me any more about this set? When made, where it was manufactured? Thanks for replying! Cheryl Togashi Maple Valley, Washington -------Original Message-------

From: Juliet Subject: Bedroom set What you have is a set of Victorian "cottage" style furniture. The green color and painted flowers are characteristic of this style. It is not deco.

The kind of furniture you have is actually fairly common in New England and the east coast in general, and was, I believe, primarily manufactured in that area. I grew up with a bedroom set just like you describe and it was my motherís as a child and dates from the early part of this century. It is small in scale specifically for the small houses it was designed for. Beds have lowish headboards (again with the flowers) to fit under dormers in cottage type bungalows. It might have had a chair and dressing table as well as a rocker and a bureau. I canít give you the name of the manufacturer, but, what ever you do, donít touch the finish. It is the entire value of the furniture. The pulls sound like the originals, possibly. It is very charming and gentle stuff. My mom got rid of my bedroom set at a garage sale in the 60s and I never forgave her. I have seen other sets in antique stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and it is quite popular and sells well when it comes up. I would guess your is east coast furniture that made its way to Washington state either with someone who moved to Washington or purchases from a catalogue. It was factory-made and then hand decorated.

So, what I have is NOT ART DECO! Love, Cheryl

-- Cheryl Togashi (, April 11, 2003.

I also have a bedroom set (dresser, dressing table and mirror, and headboard )with a sticker that says "furniture by John since 1891". I know that it was purchased new in the 1930's in Downtown Los Angeles, California, at Barker Brothers Furniture Store. I would also like to know more about it.

-- Mrs Weaten (, May 18, 2003.

I have a beautiful dresser with the Built by John sticker that my sister bought for me at a garage sale about fifteen years ago for $16.00. The mirror is a bit "cloudy" in a few small spots, but the wood finish and the carving is gorgeous. I also wanted to know about the Company.

-- Silvia Shubert (, June 08, 2003.

I do not have an answer. I do have some pictures if any one would like to compare. I have not found (yet) anything like the bedroom set I just bought. I would like to know more 'history' about this beautiful furniture.

-- Joe GIfford (, August 19, 2003.

HI my name is brandy i have a cheffor and dresser by tribond im trying to find out if anyone has any info on these pieces and could tell me when it was built and how old are these beautiful pieces are please email me if so thank you very much.

-- Brandy Slisher (, September 19, 2003.

I have a dining room set with 6 chairs (1 captains), the leaf folds out when you pull and seperate at the middle. The 6 legs (one at each corner and 2 towards the middle) were turned and has an Urn shape in the middle. The feet are like a squashed ball, I also have a matching buffet with a backsplash that has never been removed from the shipping bolt on the bottom. I don't think my Grandfather knew it was under there and never installed it. They have a dark finish that has never been tampered with. Inside the drawer of the buffet is a turquoise decal that says Built by John since 1891,and in really tiny letters at the bottom, Portland Oregon. My grandparents bought it in Yakima, Washington. I've been told it was bought sometime in the 1940's. If anyone has any information about "John" I would be very much interested in hearing from you.

-- B. Lindberg (, November 15, 2003.

I have the same dinning set as described here but my set was purchased second hand by my parents and then given to me. I have the same built by John sticker in the drawer that also say Portland Oregon. I am in Canada and have not been able to find any information on this. I suppose our search will continue, but will reamin hopeful that someone somewhere knows about this manufacture.

-- Anne Jensen (, May 02, 2004.

I am also curious about the "built by John, Portland, OR" furniture described in this thread. I just purchased a vanity/desk for $20 at a garage sale in Olympia, WA. If anyone has any information about the manufacturer/builder I would more than appreciate an e-mail.

-- Rob Welliever (, May 29, 2004.

I also have a question. Does anyone know about Carman Manufacturing? Sticker says "High Grade Furniture and Bedding Manufacturers", Portland, Oregon. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

-- Lin Johnston (, October 26, 2004.

Hi, we also have a piece of furniture with "Built by John since 1891" I bought for my shop. It is a blonde oak desk and in fairly good shape. Since we live so close to Portland we were curious about the origins of this mystery furniture builder. We only paid $7.00 for it and knew it was a good bargin but has turned out to be a better investment. Thank goodness the seller needed the money and I just needed a desk to plop my stuff on. Leta and Chad

-- Leta & Chad M. (, November 03, 2004.

I bought a vanity (no mirror) at a garage sale for 5.00. I do not have enough room in my bedroom for it, so I decided to use it as a computer desk. I would like to get info on my vanity as well.... I can't believe nobody has found out anything yet!

-- Lauren Williams (, November 07, 2004.


-- JANET MCMILLAN (, November 11, 2004.

Sorry...No more answers here, but also looking for information. I have a bedroom set that has the "Built by John, Since 1891" sticker (desk, dresser, and bed) that were handed down from the grandparents. They look like a mixture of burlwood and cherry, with hand-cut onlays on the drawer fronts...Probably circa 1930's, and originally purchased in Los Angeles area. In a recent burglary the thief was "nice" enough to steal one of the desk drawers...Leaving the almost-perfect set now incomplete. It looks like the drawer can be remade, but I have not been able to locate a drawer pull to match. Does anyone have an idea of a good place to search (I've looked at the local restoration/renovation shops)? If not, does anyone have an incomplete piece that they may be willing to part with a pull in exchange for some new ones? I can send a photo, but it's a 2-piece type of pull...Ornate stamped metal base with a stamped pivoting handle. I'm hoping I can get the desk back to its original shape, it's such a shame to see it the way it is...

Any help would be appreciated!


-- Gary Garman (, December 18, 2004.

I also have a set (bedroom) vanity, large dresser and a smaller dresser and the top two drawers are very shallow. They were purchased in the late 1930s by my grandmother for my aunt at the Barker Brothers store in Los Angeles. I worked near by in 1963-1965 for Ma Bell at 7th and Flower and loved to visit Barker Brothers on my lunch hour, especially the higher floors. The fronts have the flowing curves to it. The hardware is a little irritating as it is somewhat noisy whenever I open a drawer. The furniture is very finely built and I believe is late art deco.

I also have a dining set as described above that I purchased in Hollywood used that was alleged to be by Duncan Phyfe (not sure of spelling). I love the set, but the top has become somewhat unstable. The sideboard appears to have once had a mirror. The drawers in the center have separators on the top drawer and there are two side pull-open doors. The legs are as described in the earlier e- mail. I am sad that the veneer is somewhat shrunken on the edge. Any info on this set would be appreciated.

I am absolutely sure about the bedroom set being from Barkers Brothers, Los Angeles store.

-- Bona Condon (, December 18, 2004.


-- Fran Stevens (, February 13, 2005.

I also have a beautiful buffet/sideboard that I purchased at a yard sale in Cambria, California about 20 years ago. It has a sticker in one of the drawers that says Built by John since 1891. "Inviting furniture for Restful Homes" but does not give a city or state in which it was manufactured. Has some carvings in the doors, and round "carved ball legs. Will keep checking.

-- Kathy Thompson (, February 18, 2005.

Subject: Questions about the Carman Manufacturing Company

As Carman family historian of the so-called "Carman Drive" Carman family in Portland, OR know that members of our family owned a furniture manufacturing company in Portland near the turn of the century.

-- Ernest Carman (, February 28, 2005.

I would also like to know more about my bedroom set which includes a chest, vanity with mirror, nightstand, and a headboard/footboard. Built by John since 1891. He seems to be a mystery. Can anyone send pictures of theirs. I would like to see if anyone has the same style I have. It is painted a light yellow and the drawers a maple veener I think and the tops solid maple. There are carvings at the top horizontal part of the chest, nightstand, and vanity shaped kind of like a long thin pineapple with other fancy carvings around it. The door pulls are shaped round and are metal with a nipple like center painted yellow, with a circle pull. Does anyone have the style I have described??

-- Marsha (, March 15, 2005.

My husband's grandfather worked at a furniture manufacturing company in Portland, Oregon around the turn of the century. The busines was B. P. John Furniture and was located where John's Landing now sits. My husband thinks it closed during the 1960's. Perhaps this is the John Company who built the furniture you have. I believe the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon would have more information about this company or perhaps the library in the state capital, Salem.

-- Marilyn Freeman (, March 16, 2005.

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