How To Date Globe Wernicke Bookcase

How To Date Globe Wernicke Bookcase

If you are an antique furniture enthusiast or someone who simply appreciates beautiful craftsmanship, you may have come across a Globe Wernicke bookcase during your searches. These bookcases are not only functional but also hold historical significance and are sought after by collectors worldwide. Dating a Globe Wernicke bookcase can provide valuable insights into its age, rarity, and value. In this article, we will guide you through the process of dating your Globe Wernicke bookcase.

Understanding Globe Wernicke

Before we delve into the dating process, it’s essential to understand the history and characteristics of Globe Wernicke bookcases. Globe Wernicke was an American company that specialized in the production of modular bookcases during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These bookcases were designed to be easily assembled and disassembled, making them adaptable and practical for any space.

Globe Wernicke bookcases are renowned for their distinct design, featuring stacking sections with a base unit, top, and removable shelves. Their sections could be interchanged to create different combinations according to the owner’s needs. The bookcases were typically constructed using high-quality woods such as oak, mahogany, or walnut.

Examining the Construction

One key aspect to consider when dating a Globe Wernicke bookcase is its construction. Over the years, Globe Wernicke made several changes to their bookcase designs, allowing us to identify specific characteristics associated with particular time periods.

Early Globe Wernicke bookcases, dating around the late 19th century, often feature a label or metal plate on the base unit that identifies them as a Globe Wernicke bookcase. These labels may also include the patent date and additional information about the manufacturing company.

Additionally, early models typically utilized glass panels in their doors, while later versions transitioned to wood-framed doors with leaded glass inserts or simply wooden doors. The hardware and style of the doors can also offer clues about the bookcase’s age, as designs evolved over time.

Exploring the Markings

Globe Wernicke bookcases often have distinctive markings that can assist in determining their age. These markings can be found on various parts of the bookcase, such as the base or the shelves.

One common marking is the “Globe Earth-Wernicke” stamp, which was used during the 1890s and early 1900s. Another marking, usually found on the bookcase’s base, is the verbiage “Globe Wernicke Co.” or “The Globe Wernicke Co.” This indicates that the bookcase was produced after the company changed its name around 1899.

Later models, from the 1910s onwards, may display a metal tag with the company’s name and address, namely “Globe Wernicke Co., Cincinnati, U.S.A.” These tags were affixed to the bookcase’s side or back, providing valuable information for identification and dating purposes.

Consulting Reference Materials

When in doubt or looking for additional validation, consulting reference materials dedicated to Globe Wernicke bookcases can be immensely helpful. These resources often contain catalogs, brochures, and advertisements from the respective time periods, featuring illustrations and descriptions.

By comparing the illustrations and descriptions in these references with your bookcase, you may be able to narrow down the production period and gain a better understanding of its historical context. Online auction platforms and antique furniture forums can also serve as valuable sources of information, enabling you to connect with experts or fellow collectors who can share their expertise and insights.

Seeking Professional Assistance

In some cases, dating a Globe Wernicke bookcase can be challenging, especially if you are uncertain about the markings or lack reference materials. In such instances, seeking professional assistance may be the most suitable approach. The opinion of an experienced antique furniture appraiser or dealer can provide accurate insights into your bookcase’s age, value, and potential rarity.

It’s important to note that professional assistance may involve appraisal fees or consultation charges depending on the expert’s services. Nonetheless, the knowledge gained through their expertise can be invaluable, especially if you plan to sell or insure your Globe Wernicke bookcase.

Preserving and Enjoying Your Globe Wernicke Bookcase

Regardless of the dating outcome, owning a Globe Wernicke bookcase is a testament to its historical legacy and significance. Treat your bookcase with care, clean it gently using appropriate methods suitable for the wood type, and protect it from excessive sunlight or extreme temperature changes to maintain its beauty and integrity.

Display your Globe Wernicke bookcase proudly, and if possible, share its story with fellow antique enthusiasts or visitors. These timeless pieces serve not only as functional storage solutions but also as captivating conversation starters that bridge the past and present.

Remember, determining the exact age of your Globe Wernicke bookcase might require thorough research and expert guidance, but the journey itself can be a rewarding experience filled with fascinating discoveries. Embrace this opportunity to delve into the rich history of your cherished antique and uncover the hidden tales it holds.

Leave a Comment