The handles on this dresser matched the description of dresser handle #9 in the link she gave me.
According to the link, the dresser may be a Sheraton-styled piece dating between 1751-1800. For real?! So I decided to do a little more research to see if the dresser met up with the other requirements. It might have been easier to simply look at the metal plate on the back of the dresser--if it wasn't so timeworn that it was unreadable!
Sheraton furniture is known for its turned legs, simple and tapered, usually with metal casters on them. The site included a picture of some Sheraton chairs in mint condition. Here are the legs--magnified.
Now look at the legs of our dresser:
Finally the site mentioned the Sheraton furniture was known for its decorative embellishments. They often had urns, drapery swags, vases, festoons, bows, and pendants carved or painted into them. Here's an example:
If you look closely, you can see a pendant in the center decorated with a cascading bow. Now look at our dresser:
From this, I'm fairly convinced we have an original Sheraton dresser. This dresser is significantly older than the images we found in it, so I'm guessing it may have been a family heirloom. Given that it's over 150 years older than our house, I'm going to keep it as OUR heirloom.
James Baldwin collection: 1950s
our house: 1920
the photos: 1880(?)
the dresser: 1780(?)
I love these historical layers. After traveling to Germany this summer, I bemoaned the absence of anything truly old in the United States. I wanted to find something that represented permanence here. That's why I love my old house. That's why I love the South, even with its problems. I value that which has withstood time AND changing values and mores. I hope my house (and the things within it) withstand too. I hope to preserve them for my future generations so that they will understand the important of making things that last.