Identification Please

I have been working in a nice little town called Whitman these last couple of weeks. On my way to the job site the fist day a sign jumped out at me that read “Irresistible Treasures: antiques and collectibles”. I knew I needed to check this place out, something was calling me.

Two weeks later, I walked in and  introduced myself to who seemed to be in charge of the joint. I promptly mentioned my reason for stopping was to find an old tool that was in usable condition. He said “they be out back in da shed.” He disappeared as I started walking through the beautifully arranged and not so cluttered as the average antique shop. I went through the back door of the barn to see the front door of the shed. As I was walking down to the shed an older gentleman met me outside. Again I introduced myself and he himself, “Ed’s mu name.” We talked for a while as I rummaged through the not so neatly organized boxes and shelves. I saw only a few things that I thought I should need at some point or another.  I did find a decent Stanley no. 48 (pictured above) and a nice buck bros’ gouge for bit more than was in my wallet at the time. I declined his price tags and said I needed to get going. “I’d like you to see something” he said and walked back into the barn with me.

Right inside the back door of the barn was this large dovetailed and paneled box. I believe it is made of walnut. The six panels have beautiful burl veneer on the raised fields. img_0707

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The construction is quite stout, 1″ thick top, sides and bottom, and the stiles and rails are also 1″ thick. “What’s this for?” He asked. I couldn’t judge by the cover, I needed to open it up.img_0695

The case opens in half to reveal a side with a bottom row of five drawers two rows of brass tool holding racks and four strange hooks on the side walls. The interior paneled partition has another brass tool rack and several brass hooks of two different sizes.

Brass racks and hooks

swinging out the middle partition showed three wooden tool racks with tons of small square holes for the tools to be placed along with five more hooks.

It’s a spectacular tool cabinet, I just don’t know what sort of tools filled its racks and hooks. My assumption is that with all the small holes in the wooden racks they held files or rasps. That leads me to believe this was a patternmakers cabinet. I’m not really positive.

I would love to know if anyone out there could identify this. It’s a solid work of craftsmanship for whatever it was employed for.

The back



6 thoughts on “Identification Please

  1. That is a crazy cool cabinet, Nathan. I am most intrigued by the two brass racks. Seems clear that they were made to hold a graduated sequence of the same tool in each rack. And they look to be custom castings, which means there were maybe more of these cabinets made. 19th century store display cabinet? If so — an incredibly nice one. Thanks for sharing that.


  2. It looks like it could be a leather tool cabinet to me. I have had several old cabinets with the same design as the center section to drop awls and smaller pointed handled tools into. The section on the left would work for handled tools with shanks – edge bevelers, French edgers, punches, etc. I have not seen that style with the brass rack but some with same idea done in wood. Thank you for sharing it!


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