Antique Bassett furniture
Antique Bassett furniture is furniture manufactured by the Bassett Furniture company of Virginia, US.
Background and Description
Bassett Furniture is one of the oldest furniture manufacturers in Virginia. It was established in 1902 by John David Bassett and C. C. Bassett, after they saw the potential in manufacturing furniture with their own quality raw Appalachian oak lumber rather than shipping it all the way to far-off states in the North. Despite a lack of knowledge about furniture production, Bassett considered that the savings in freight would alone give them an advantage over Northern manufacturers, and as the South was recovering rapidly, there was a huge local market for furniture and other commodities.
In 1921, J.D. Bassett formed the J.D. Bassett manufacturing company in addition to Bassett Furniture. In 1927, his son William Bassett established the W. M. Bassett Furniture Company. All of these companies were known as Bassett brand, which created some confusion. In 1930, they combined together in order to weather the Great Depression, and became Bassett Furniture Industries.
Bassett furniture is all hand-crafted. Their first products were simple designs with carved overlays. As the company grew, their products and design expanded. For example, the elaborate Waterfall design was introduced in 1938.
The range of furniture is very wide, and almost any kind of home item of vintage Bassett furniture is available from dressers, desks and beds to doll boxes and mirrors. They even manufactured wooden truck bodies during World War II.
Collecting antique Bassett furniture
Bassett furniture still exist as a successful Virginia company. Bassett would generally be considered not quite old enough to produce ‘antique’ furniture, the definition of ‘antique’ taken to mean over 100 years old. However, collectors of vintage Bassett furniture will generally focus on furniture produced by the company prior to the mid 20th century, sometimes ever prior to the combining of the three Bassett companies in 1930.
Vintage Bassett furniture can be found on auction websites such as eBay, at estate sales and house clearances, and in antique and second hand stores.
Items of vintage Bassett furniture have sold for $50-$500 on eBay, generally depending on age and condition.
Items can sell for more than this at auction, with the opinion of highly-regarded experts on their date and origin backing them up.