For more than a decade, I have searched and wished for an old spool cabinet. I have found plenty on ebay and occasionally in antique shops, but they have always been price prohibitive. Yesterday my husband and I stopped by our local antique shop (Kelly’s Real Deals) looking for a small side table, and I stumbled upon the treasure I had been seeking . . . a lovely old J&P Coats thread cabinet. It was mostly buried under a pile of china, a walking cane, candleholders, a brass scale, and other odds and ends. After excavating it from the pile and checking it out thoroughly, I made my negotiations with the proprietor and loaded it up in the car.
Keep in mind that Kelly’s is basically a barn, and the items you find there are by no means picture perfect refinished antiques. That’s part of what I love about it.
Here is my find right after I brought it home:
and after some basic cleaning:
It has 4 drawers and the top is hinged and opens up. I covered the black insert in the top with a piece of black fabric, and I lined the drawers and inside the top with blue felt.
I will spend a little time researching this, but I know these cabinets were made for merchants starting in about 1877. J&P Coats merged with Clark in 1952. So this cabinet would have to date somewhere in that range. I’d love to narrow it down further. The knobs on the lower left drawer are replacements, but the others are original. The labels on the drawers are original. The one that is rubbed off would have said “Best”. You can buy new labels for these, but I intend to leave everything original.
I will probably use a little wax paste on the wood to condition it a little, but for the most part I plan to leave this as-is. I can’t wait to fill it with needlework supplies!
Updated Oct 8, 2014:
I cleaned the piece a second time and used a paste wax on it. LOVE the final outcome.