Spool cabinets are multipurpose furniture products. They are among the best-made pieces of furniture available, and their numerous drawers, shelves, and storage compartments allow for some fascinating restoration and repurposed ideas.
Spool cabinets have a long history in the textile business and have been utilized in a range of contexts, including households, general stores, garment factories, and tailoring workshops.
However, spool cabinets are getting more difficult to find so if you do have one, you probably question if the timing is right to sell it.
Let’s evaluate all the information you require regarding these regal furniture pieces.
Table of Contents
What is Antique Spool Cabinet?
The textile sector underwent a change and became a sophisticated, industrial trade with the development of the sewing machine in 1844. Women started purchasing fully prepared threads on wooden spools instead of weaving their own wool or cotton threads.
For the thread companies to maintain their spools of thread, spool cabinets were created. Each drawer was labeled with the sort of thread it contained and could be discovered in the non-perishables department of the local general store. Most cabinets had three to six drawers, while some were made without cabinets and instead had their threads piled in clearly visible columns.
History of Antique Spool Cabinet
Spool cabinets were a crucial component of the textile sector. Beginning in 1844, when the sewing machine transformed tailoring, everything changed. As more processes were mechanized, it signaled a number of significant shifts in the sector.
The thread itself saw the most significant modification. To keep up with this new work pace, everyone from expert tailors and textile manufacturers to the everyday woman needed ready-made thread.
Spool cabinets made storing thread spools simple, effective, and a good method to market to prospective consumers.
They were available in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Some cabinets featured a number of drawers with labeling that made it clear what kind and color of thread was located inside. The most popular ones included shades of silk or cotton thread and the colors black and white. For easier reading, other cabinets stacked their threads in columns.
Oak, Walnut, and maple were the most popular woods used for spool cabinets, and furniture craftsmen frequently employed locally obtained wood for their designs.
Cabinets have historically been produced for two different locations. Commercial cabinets were often made of better wood since they needed to endure longer. Additionally, they had a logo or brand to promote themselves.
Antique Spool Cabinet Manufacturers
Although there has always been a need for textiles, the industry has only been in existence since the 19th century. However, early producers of silk and cotton thread utilized spool cabinets to promote their own wares, and as a result, many of the antique spool cabinets you can find on the marketplace now bear the name of one of these producers. Mercantiles and small companies might, of course, have their own unbranded spool cabinets, but the most lavish and artistic cabinets originated from these manufacturers:
One of the most esteemed producers in the textile sector is J.&P. Coats, which was established by James and Patrick Clark in the 1750s. They created a number of methods for tying threads together.
J&P Coats was one of the largest textile manufacturers in the world by the 1890s. J&P Coats, a Scottish company that created ornamental spool cabinets at around the same time as the Clark Thread Company in the 19th and 20th centuries, subsequently merged with Clarks to form the present textile firm Coats.
The Merrick Thread Company
Merricks, another thread company founded in the midst of the 19th century, offered not only a wide selection of thread and notions but also distinctive spool cabinets. In actuality, Merricks’ round spool display case is its claim to fame. The growth of the sewing machine was fully embraced by the Merrick Thread Company, which grew concurrently. They were one of America’s biggest spool processes by the turn of the century.
It makes sense to anticipate a variety of spool cabinets with their brands on them.
When cotton threads were created for the first time in the early 19th century, the Clark Thread Company, which was founded in the early 18th century, embraced them. One of the most known names in vintage spool cabinets is Clarks Thread Company. On the draw handles and in large text on the drawers, they had the word “ONT.”
The company produced customized cabinets to hold its cotton threads, which were its area of expertise. They developed a method to spool their own threads, which led to the requirement for specific cabinets.
Heminway & Bartlett Silk Company
Heminway is the name that is typically inscribed across the front of a spool cabinet from the 19th century, however this family-owned silk business has gone by several other names throughout the years.
As early adopters of rayon and synthetic fibers, Heminway & Barlett’s threads are incredibly well-known and in constant demand. They made solid ties with merchants and big-box shops, who displayed their branded spool cabinets and contributed to the growth of their recognizable brand.
Types of Antique Spool Cabinet
Spool cabinets had a quite beneficial purpose, thus its designers didn’t really play all that much with them. They’ve only been tested recently with current repairs. There were two different styles of antique spool cabinets, including:
These were typically displayed cases with six or seven columns in storefronts. In general merchandise stores, you might keep smaller end table cabinets.
However, for professional textile establishments, these column cabinets may be enormous in size and contain numerous long columns. These cabinets didn’t have glass sides; instead, they held thread open, making it simple for consumers to rapidly grab what they were seeking.
The most popular type of cabinet on the market is one with drawers. A useful way for securely storing threads at home.
Often, drawers had titles that made it apparent what kind of thread was kept in them. Smaller cabinets often have two to five drawers. Drawers can occasionally be large and deep or short and thin.
How to find the Value of Your Antique Spool Cabinet?
It’s usually a good idea to have an authentication certificate or have the seller remarks on the receipt certifying the provenance of the item and the components, notably if you’re inexperienced to spool cabinets. You can proceed with acquiring an antique spool cabinet for your personal collection once you’ve established its authenticity.
Spool cabinets in excellent condition will cost the most; this includes having complete text and labeling, no missing drawers or glazing, and high-quality materials. In fact, these spool cabinets can become so pricey that they can be valued at thousands of dollars.
Spool cabinets have a range of values dependent on several criteria, just like any other antique collectible. Consider the following factors before posting a listing in order to find the correct value of your antique spool cabinet.
On the drawers, handles, and/or back panels of many professional spool cabinets, you can clearly see the logo of the maker. Compared to spool cabinets without any obvious identifier, cabinets with these markers are substantially more valuable.
The value of the spool cabinet increases with its condition. The majority of cabinets are offered with only minimal evidence of damage and are in “good” condition. All parts of the spool cabinet are in fine condition. Look inside your spool cabinet to see whether it has any of the following:
- The manufacturer and lettering font should match.
- Knobs and hinges should all have original hardware.
- Original and in good condition advertising decals are preferred.
- The most valued finishes are those that are original and in good shape. Spool cabinets must have been refurbished with care.
Like many other pieces of antique furniture, the bigger the cabinet, the more it is valuable. The sizes and designs of spool cabinets varied.
There are 2 drawers, 8 drawers, and 5 drawers cabinets as well available in the market and sold in the auctions as well.
15 Valuable Antique Spool Cabinet
Here is the list of sold Valuable Antique Spool Cabinets:
1. Antique Cherry Six Drawer Spool Cabinet sold for $275.00
This antique cherry six-drawer spool cabinet has a pegged construction and six genuine brass knobs on the drawers. It has a new finish; therefore, it is in fantastic shape. It is 21″ tall, 25 3/4″ wide, and 19 1/4″ deep. At the auction site, it was auctioned for $275.00 in 2022.
2. J&P Coats Antique Spool Cabinet sold for $450
This antique spool cabinet with J & P advertising was auctioned off in 2020 and sold for $450. This beautiful cabinet is showing its age, with advertising losses. but with useful working drawers.
3. Antique Spool Cabinet Signed Exhibition Showcase sold for $250
At the auction, this antique spool cabinet sold for $250. The condition was ok as it includes some spool racks that are not attached, a broken glass panel, and marble chips.
4. Antique Goff’s Braid Best Made Spool Thread Sewing Cabinet Wood 2-Drawer sold for $228.50
This Goff’s Braid Best Made Spool cabinet, which sold for $228.50 on eBay, is in good shape. Two drawers in the cabinet slide open and shut with ease. The hardware and knobs all appear to be original. Goff’s Braid and Goff’s Braid Best Made are both prominently labeled on the front and rear, respectively, with a lovely, in-depth illustration of the thread spool on the parallel.
5. Antique Early 20th C Oak Wood 5 Drawer Flat File Office Cabinet sold for $337.89
It’s a five-drawer flat file cabinet made of old oak wood. It is thought to be from the 1910s or 1920s. The cabinet’s outside shows what I shall refer to as age-related finish deterioration. This includes scratches, scuff marks, stains, and nicks and dings. In the top drawer’s left-bottom corner, there is a wood chip. Actually, wood veneer makes up the back piece. There are multiple chips all over the exterior of this. In 2022, an antique five-drawer flat file cabinet made of oak wood sold on eBay for $337.00.
6. Antique Goff’s Braid Oak Wood 3 Drawer Spool Cabinet String Thread Advertising sold for $260.00
This antique Goff Braid Oak spool cabinet by the Goff maker sold for $260.00 at ebay in good condition. Only the letters were faded.
7. AMERICAN VICTORIAN ANTIQUE SPOOL CABINET sold for $150
This American Victorian antique pool cabinet was auctioned off for $150. The condition was quite fine, the finish looked original, and it was worn on base.
8. ANTIQUE THREAD CABINET SPOOL SEWING – EARLY sold for $195
This antique thread cabinet, sewing pool, with lovely three drawers having 2.5 length of each drawer sold for $195.00 on eBay in 2022.
9. Antique Clarks ONT Spool Cabinet sold for $227.50
This Antique Clarks ONT Cotton Thread Spool Cabinet by Clark’s brand sold for $227.00 at ebay in good condition.
10. Corticelli Silk Spool Cabinet sold for $450
At an auction site, a Corticelli Silk Spool Cabinet with Nine Drawers that had original decals on the front wooden panels, top, and bottom was sold for $450. An excellent aesthetic with the drawer panels changed with masonite sheets for good usefulness. The cabinet’s actual finish is attractive and has only slight damage but overall the condition was excellent.
11. Clarks Mile End Two Drawer Antique Spool Cabinet sold for $275
At the auction, a two-drawer antique spool cabinet by Clarks Mile End in reasonable condition sold for $275.
12. RARE Antique JP Coats Mercerized Thread Countertop Glass Display Spool Cabinet sold for $345.00
Three double rows of the original thread are seen in the spool cabinet. This compact display is still filled with vintage thread on wood spools in thirty distinct hues. This case still has all of the JP Coats decals and the original glass front door that folds up. “J.P. Coats Thread Boilfast Mercerized” is written on the bottom and on both sides. On eBay, this spool cabinet brought in $345.00.
13. Vintage Spool Thread Wood Cabinet 2 Drawer Alpaca Braid Oriental sold for $649.00
Despite having visible wear and tear from usage and age, this Vintage Spool Cotton Wood Cabinet Drawer sold for $649.00 on eBay. It was in good condition for its age. Two distinct pieces of wood make up the cabinet’s bottom. The top wood piece in the front is arched upward considerably on both side making a space.
14. Antique Kerr & Co. Advertising Six Drawer Country Store Display Spool Cabinet sold for $495.00
This Antique Kerr & Co. Advertising Six Drawer Spool Cabinet sold at ebay with good condition.
15. Antique Heminway & Bartlett Silk Company Spool Cabinet sold for $504
This antique spool cabinet was made by Heminway & Bartlett Silk. Three glass fronted drawers with wooden dividers make up this item. A gilded logo is printed on the fourth drawer. A metal pull completes each. Various darning cotton spools in their original packing as well as silk thread spools can be found in the drawers. The words “H. & B. Spool Silk” are inscribed in gold on the cabinet’s sides and back. In 1888, Heminway & Bartlett opened their doors in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
How to Identify either my Spool Cabinet is Antique or not?
Spool cabinets are particularly trendy right now for modern interior ideas that aim for a rustic, rural appearance. However, there are lots of imitations, copies, and recycled spool cabinets because they are frequently in low supply.
Many people intentionally laid stress on the products age and the wood to make it appear older than it is, as is common with other antique furniture.
How then can you help yourself to find the age or value of your collectible?
If your cabinet has these, carefully read the labels on it. Consider the word spacing, font size and what the manufacturing date stamp on it.
Numerous companies labeled the entire cabinet, rather than just using a simple label on the entire piece. Sometimes trademarks were painted or embossed on knobs and glass panels. These can be quite difficult to duplicate nowadays.
It is important to note that sometimes, performing some research on the company will provide you with the information you require. A little investigation would reveal, for instance, that a Coats and Clark spool cabinet, which was claimed to date from 1925, could not have been created before to 1952, the year J.P. Coats and Clarks Thread amalgamated.
How to Take care of your Antique Spool Cabinet?
Antique spool cabinets were always made of wood, thus they were sensitive to variations in temperature, sunlight exposure, and moisture content. As a result, even though the lovely spool cabinet you discovered at the local antique shop was less expensive, there were some concerns about its condition. To revive your wooden spool cabinet, you can, though, take a few thoughtful steps.
The wood must be fostered back to health in the first place. A piece of wooden furniture can be cleaned in a variety of ways, but even a quick wipe down with a microfiber cloth can get rid of years’ worth of dust and filth.
After thoroughly cleaning the item, you should use a non-aerosol wood wax to restore its natural gloss. When polishing up your cabinet, be thorough yet sparing because a little goes a long way. Being delicate and sensitive to any chemicals or waxes you use during the cleaning process, be very careful with any labels that may have been left behind.
Consider looking for a repairing expert
If you discover that the repairs require more than a thorough cleaning, you might want to think about having the piece professionally restored. This can entail restoring or adding faded lettering, restraining, and fixing broken cabinets, among other things. Many people discover that they like the worn appearance of items like this, but if the cabinets are broken, you might want to spend money on a professional repair.
Where to Buy & Sell Antique Spool Cabinets?
Searching online is your best option if you need to find one immediately. Consider the following sites:
- e-Bay– The Antique Spool Cabinets can be easily found on eBay, one of the greatest sites to find beautiful Antique collectibles. It’s also ideal if you’re considering selling because they provide a very user-friendly e-commerce feature and can reach a sizable global audience.
- Ruby Lane– Since their auction stream is sourced via more conventional methods, Ruby Lane is, it must be said, a little more constrained in the number of antique Spool Cabinets that are offered at once. It’s a good idea to constantly checking their inventory, though, as they are one of the biggest online auction houses, to see if they have what you’re searching for posted.
- Etsy– Since people frequently discover these different Vintage Spool Cabinets in their grandparents’ homes across the nation, internet marketplaces like Etsy are among the greatest places to find a ton of these pieces on sale.
Utilize Your Cabinet to Complement Your Decor
There are a variety of ways you can adorn your home with an antique spool cabinet, depending on its size. The six drawer size is typically best for this; for example, you might use it as an end or side table. It can be displayed on another piece of furniture if it’s a smaller piece. Despite being shallow, the antique spool cabinet drawers can be utilized to store jewelry, small objects, and documents. However, in order for your antiques to last for many generations, you should keep them away from moisture and bright sunshine.
If you recently purchased or are considering buying an antique spool cabinet. Or perhaps you found vintage spool cabinets in the basement of the new estate. Whatever the situation, you can find out how much an antique spool cabinet is worth by using our guide on identifying and appraising them. However, we strongly advise you to visit a professional appraiser if you want to fully understand the worth and value of your antique thread cabinets.