3-door Art deco ARMIORE (transitional Nouveau/Deco?)

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New to the forum. My wife and I just bought an armoire that is Art Deco (75% sure) or transitional Art Nouveau/Art Deco (25% sure). It is huge... 7'+ high and 5'+ wide, with a heavy bevelled mirror in the center, and to lovely etched side doors. All three doors have simple locks. The side doors have nice straight lines in their lower half, and then a nice relief floral/plant motif carved into their upper halves. I noticed on the back of one of the pieces a "brand," literally; it was burned in, with what I can only guess in the maker's mark. It was about a 3" x 3" brand, featuring a buck deer, and the word "CERF" in all capitales (the French word for deer) and beneath it the word "meubles" (the French word for furniture). Beneath the buck was the word "Belfort," which I can imagine is a city in France, perhaps?

I don't even know what kind of wood it is - I just fell in love with the piece. I think it's oak. I need to know:

a.) ANYTHING about "CERF" -- a French maker from when? b.) How to best identify the wood - white oak? red oak? walnut? c.) Is it worth paying an appraiser $300? Could this be something magnificent, or just something really nice? d.) I can email pics to anyone who thinks they can help - except I cannot photo the mark; it is currently on the back of a very heavy armoire. :-)

To anybody that can really help me with this thing, I can also give a more detailed desription of other things like feet, shelf construction, dowel pins, other things, if they will help identify the piece.

Thank you! Andy and Lisa

-- Andrew King (la_cultura@hotmail.com), October 26, 2004


-- . (.@..com), October 27, 2004.

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