Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Antique Jelly Cabinet


It's finished.

After working on this thing off/on for seventeen-dang-years, it's done.

According to my mother, she bought this cute jelly cabinet at Thomas Taylor & Son's in Fairview, Tennessee several years before she gave it to me. Supposedly, it was made sometime in the 1930s.  All three coats of paint were milk-based; the first was white, then someone tried to do a sort of patriotic blue, then white again.  Even the glass was painted with the blue and white. Mother's plan was to restore the cabinet, but that never happened. It sat in the basement, untouched. It was the same mess it was in when she bought it, when I ran across it again around 1995.

She let me take the cabinet to fix up and use in my own kitchen.  Some of the hinges were broken, door knobs missing, and the back panel had delaminated and warped.  I purchased a sheet of masonite and replaced the back panel, stripped off all the old paint and repainted everything a bright white.  Then the work stopped.  I couldn't find any chrome or silvery 3/8" offset hinges that would work and be small enough to not interfere with the glass panels, and I wouldn't settle for modifying the cabinet to accept an overlay hinge.

For the next seventeen years the cabinet moved from my house back to various spots at Mother's, and eventually sat partially disassembled in a corner of my bedroom with old dolls and knick-knacks stacked on it.  Occasionally she would ask me, "When are you gonna get this thing outta here?"  so on a visit last Fall, I brought it back to my house and tried to figure out what to do with it and where was I going to put it.  I even thought of giving it away to my best friend, figuring I had no room.

A few days ago and starting to feel Mother's pain of having the cabinet in the way, I decided I'd keep it and put it someplace for good.  I found the perfect chrome hinges and bought wooden cabinet and drawer knobs.  For the knob color, I wanted a true 1930's red and chose Valspar's "Porcelain Red" in semi-gloss.  This scheme will be repeated on the kitchen cabinets when that renovation takes place.

There are a few places where the paint has been marred a bit from all the moving around, but it fits the cabinet's "personality" so it will stay as-is.  I suspect where it is sitting now is where it will stay, in the sunroom right off the kitchen.  It looks very much at home, as if it's always been here.

Mother will be here for a visit in a couple of weeks.  I'm anxious for her to finally see her little cabinet, loved and being used.

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