The Fine Things are Always Hand Made
Congratulations on this great website and association. Your group seems very helpful, friendly and willing to share information; and, I’ve learned a lot just reading the forums and searching the photo archives.
I’m writing to ask for your help. I’m an appraiser doing research to determine the current insurance replacement value of this magnificent custom carved console cabinet with an E H Scott radio chassis inside. It is the property of a museum in Rockford, IL, the city that, as you already know, produced many cabinets for Scott.
I believe from searching this site that the radio may be the AW 27. Can someone tell me if this correct and if not, what is it? I’m certain it’s not in working condition. I have a fair idea of the value of the cabinet but would appreciate your thoughts on insurance replacement value (a range is fine) of the radio chassis. Any thoughts or comments anyone might have on the radio are welcome and appreciated.
As a thank you for your help, I have received permission from the museum to share additional information with you. The serial number is: Z-630. The cabinet was made by: West End Furniture Company in Rockford. The date the museum has assigned to it is 1925-1928. It is: 64” h. x 37” w. x 19” d. It came to the museum directly from the immediate family of the owner of West End Furniture. I’ll also try to answer other questions you might have about the radio.
Thank you Norman for confirming that the chassis is the AW 27 and for the information on value of the chassis. Since the two items were separate to begin with, I was pretty sure they would be valued separately. I'm assuming that since the cabinet was made in the late 20s, it wasn't until 1936 that this radio was installed.
In a note from the donor, she writes that the cabinet was exhibited in New York in the 1920s when furniture manufacturers were asked to bring their most beautiful radio cabinet models (apparently for a competition). This cabinet won 1st place. She also states that a duplicate cabinet was purchased at that time by the Spanish Ambassador as a gift for the King of Spain. It was supposed to have been used in one of his hunting lodges.
I do not have any documentation from the cabinet company with models and dates. I will ask if there are any catalogs in the museum research library. There is also the Swedish Historical Society in Rockford that has been working on a book about the furniture factories but I do not know how far along they are or when it will be published. That might be a place to check for catalog info.
Thanks for your reply. There were several cabinet companies offering elaborate custom cabinets in which the customer could have the radio of their choice installed. A number of these type cabinets, often very elaborate with carving, have turned up with radio chassis of the mid- to late 1930s. Some of the companies may have continued to offer these late 1920s style cabinets well into the 1930s but nobody has been able to confirm this. This is one reason that more information is being sought by the radio collecting community about the independent cabinet companies.
Agree has the look of a late 1920's high end furniture company radio cabinet. Is among among the most ornate I have seen. The highboy cabinet was the common late 1920's radio cabinet style & into the very early 1930's.
Seems likely the cabinet originally had some other make radio in it. We know of other examples where a Scott radio was installed in an older fine cabinet, replacing an obsolete radio.
You might consider making a query on the Antique Radio Forum, in the first category - Antique Radio Discussions. Post just the front view. Other obscure cabinets have been identified through this discussion website. http://antiqueradios.com/forums/
I believe I have seen an article about this cabinet in a Rockford newspaper from the 20's.
I think I found it while searching the digital Rockford newspaper database for West End Furniture Company info.
FYI - Rockford Peerless Furniture made most of the Scott cabinets 1929 into late 1930's.