Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gerstner and Jennings tool chests

I got out of work early on Friday and decided to hit one of my favorite hunting spots, the Livingston Antique Mall in Howell.  It's a good sized mall with a good selection of antiques, including a fair number of tools.  I walked around the corner and I saw this tool box.

Well, my blood started pumping faster.  Could this be a Gerstner, I thought.  Well, of course, it is a beautiful example from that famous Dayton, Ohio company.

The wood has a beautiful patina from the years of use.  There is a tiny bit of bubbling veneer on the top of the box, but that should be an easy fix.  This particular box is a seven drawer model, lined with green felt.  The felt has seen better days so I'm planning on replacing this with Gerstner brown felt.

Best of all, I paid about $80 for this box.  I've never seen one in such good condition for such little money.  All the nickle-plated hardware is present and in great shape.  What a steal!

On my way home, I get a call from my wife.  She mentions that a family friend has a tool chest that I might like.  This family friend happens to be an elderly woman who is moving from her beautiful 1900-built home and there is a fair amount of "stuff" in it.  Of course, I jumped at the chance to go look.  Here's what I found.

The box is definitely in rough shape, but its a Jennings.  I've never seen a Jennings tool box.  In fact, I didn't even know they made boxes until I found this one.

The Jennings Company label on the inside of the lid

Beautiful filigree handles on the Jennings box
Clearly, the box needs some deep cleaning.  The original mortise lock is long gone and clearly the drawer handles aren't original.  Does anyone have any pictures or catalog pages that show what they might have looked like?

I've had a great Easter Weekend so far.  Here's hoping you get some time in your shop and some time to shop for your latest treasures.