Monday, October 24, 2011

Antique Furniture Cart Rant - Revisted

A long time ago on a blog far away, I wrote about antique furniture factory carts and how everyone and their mother was beginning to utilize them as coffee tables.  Initially, I was frustrated with a couple of large retail chains due to their recent introduction of similar carts in their catalogs.  I wasn't upset because the carts-as-tables were being popularized, I was irritated at what the stores were charging for items they had found in old warehouses.  I received a lot of feedback on my post and received quite a few e-mails about furniture restoration in general, so I thought I would re-post it here and re-open the conversation.

A couple of years back, I saw a photo of this old cart which was used in an upholstery shop and thought it would make a beautiful coffee table. If my memory serves me correctly, it was constructed out of stainless steel and cast iron. So, after our house fire last year (and the subsequent destruction of my coffee table that I designed and built - shown below) I thought, "How great would it be to have one of those carts!?"

il Travestimento | © 2003 Angela La Beaume Hicks
It took me months and months of constantly researching online, but alas! I found one! Well, it wasn't like the metal one I had seen but it did have the cast iron wheels and instead was constructed of wood. I found it at Wood Stock Supply, Inc. out of South Dakota, where I had seen an advertisement for their excess inventory, to included their antique lumber carts. I didn't waste any time. I immediately ordered two! One of which we are using as a coffee table, and the other of which I plan to hang on the wall above the stairwell.

Not the greatest photo in the world, but you get the idea.
Interestingly, just last month I received a catalog from Pottery Barn with this shitteous interpretation of a "salvaged dolly". The resemblance is almost offensive, but hey, I guess you have to get your inspiration from somewhere!

Wheel Coffee Table | $699.00 Pottery Barn
More disturbing than the similarities is how this table sells for seven hundred dollars! Seriously? I bought two antique carts and had them shipped from South Dakota for under three hundred!

So if that wasn't bad enough, last week I received an e-mail from a friend of mine (who lives in Kansas City) inquiring about my coffee table. As I was responding to her, letting her know who to contact if she wanted one, my "new mail notification" pops up with an e-mail from her with the following link: Furniture Factory Cart. I checked it out and I noticed two things right away.

One - this cart is EXACTLY like the one in my living room.
Two - this cart has a price tag of $910!!!  Now it's listed for $1095!

Furniture Factory Cart | $910.00 Restoration Hardware
The amazing thing about this is that Restoration Hardware is selling ANTIQUE carts that have been "restored by a Northern California craftsman". Oh! Now I understand why I would pay 9 times it's value! Don't get me no means do I think I'm the first person in history to want to use a lumber cart as an occasional table, but I just find it funny that after a good hundred years, all of the sudden this style is being perceived as "trendy".

Well, it's getting late, so I'll wrap things up. Hats off to Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn for raking their customers over the coals. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the carts I bought from Wood Stock Supply, Inc. and hope that interested parties will look to them for their purchase as a means of saving money and supporting ma and pa shops!


  1. gorgous carts! This is exactly what Im looking for! The pottery barn is actually my fav!

  2. Let's assume, for example, that you owned a furniture store and had a massive stock of furniture that you must sell to make a living.

  3. An even bigger benefit may be the low priced costs in which products can be acquired from these kinds of auctions vil.