Great furniture finds at ordinary garage sales make me want to fist bump everyone in my path, which is exactly what I did when I found these gems:
I passed by them initially as they sat covered by old VHS tapes and assorted Wii gadgets figuring that they were small tables being used to display merch, but at second glance saw a tag that said make an offer and then quickly entered that rollercoaster/vortex that best describes the emotional side of garage sale shopping; hovered my entire body over the tables like a lion over her kill while I did speedy research in an effort to ID the items on my phone to gauge value. Quickly realized they were amazing finds, named my offer calmly to hide my outrageous level of excitement from the seller and other shoppers, begged the seller to hold them for me while I left to get more cash and a Jeep with more space to carry them, and then flailed about in glee and ran out of that sale like I was escaping a wildfire.
Garage sales are fun, no?
Bedside tables hadn’t even been on my list of items to replace/upgrade/buy; we had still been using the CB2 Harvey tables that I found a few years ago, a set that I still really like a lot no matter how many times we slam our elbows into the corners and curse when our phones metallically sound off when left on ‘vibrate’ mode. The finish has held up really well over the years, and despite lots of wear, no dings, scratches, or chips.
As timing would have it, we just upgraded ourselves to a new king mattress last month and it wasn’t until I put one of our new walnut tables next the bigness of that bed that I realized how dwarfed those two red tables really seemed in comparison. The bigger tables are a much better fit for the size of the bed, and for the overall scale of our large (and still relatively empty) bedroom.
Researching the tables themselves took me down a windy rabbit hole. The word “Heritage” is marked on the inside of the drawer, which to many furniture enthusiasts would imply “Drexel Heritage” or “Henredon Heritage.” I found several of these items on both eBay and auction sites claiming to be from the Drexel and/or Henredon family of products–walnut, similar markings, comparable size, lines, and shape–though none of them were an exact match for this table’s design with its tray top.
I suspect but obviously can’t say for sure that many of those listings aren’t completely accurate, because the product photographs don’t clearly depict the logo branding inside the drawers matching what you would see on a legit Drexel Heritage or Henredon Heritage product. Probably not the seller’s fault–if their products had the original stickers inside the drawers, they might realize that the tables were from American manufacturer Paine Furniture Company.
Going further down the Paine Furniture Company research path, I did find somewhere that the manufacturer did have a Heritage line of products (circa 1960), and that line appears to have some similar features as these two tables, including the Walnut construct, labeling (as shown two photos above), and lo-and-behold, the same wooden handles.
The tables themselves aren’t flawless, but they’re solid as can be. There are a few small (dime-sized) areas of water damage, and a few scratches along one lower edge, but nothing that can’t be dealt with, and considering that I already tipped a glass of water onto it, I suspect it’ll see worse and am reminded of why I like to buy inexpensive garage sale items instead of brand new. When I brought them home, I cleaned the set gently with a damp rag and Murphys Oil Soap which helped to lift dust and polish them up, but for now I don’t think they need extensive refinishing.
At first glance, we expected that the walnut would contrast too much with our natural maple floors; we’ve been trying to keep our buys to a blonder wood style, venturing as dark as oak but not much deeper. The walnut actually coordinates well with some of the darker streaks in the natural maple flooring, so the contrast really isn’t anywhere near as eye catching as if the tables were a darker brown.
The garage sale scene has been excellent this year. I promise a recap of some of my favorite finds soon!