Monday, 1 June 2020

If the Knob Fits

I was donated this rather handsome dresser by a friend of Balintore who was downsizing in Dundee. Even though it is 1920's rather than 1860's, I liked it immediately: huge, solid oak, Arts-and-Crafts inspired and Scottish in character. 

Balintore dresser with missing knob

I lightly stained it to bring the warmth back as it had gone somewhat yellow in storage. However, the right hand knob on the bottom drawer was missing, and try and I might over the last 6 years or so I have been unable to find a tear drop knob that was anywhere near a suitable replacement. When knobs drop off, why do people not reattach them immediately? Antique furniture often suffers from mismatching partial replacement knob(s) or inappropriate total replacement knobs.

Anyhow, I have recently bought 65 good quality second-hand reproduction knobs, that would allow me to do a convincing total replacement. You know you are on a budget, when even your repro is second hand. :-) "I'll have one last look on eBay" I thought. After several mis-matching tear drop handles, I finally came across this:

knob on eBay

Surely this was not the same knob? The dimensions were identical, and I held my laptop in front of the buffet for visual comparison. The style was similar, but the bright polished finish was rather confusing. Anyhow, for £12 it was worth a punt.

The knob arrived this morning and I installed it, see below. It is the very same knob. What are the odds against finding this 100 years after manufacture? I would have been happy with something of the approximate size and approximate shape.

eBay knob is perfect match - astonishing!

I could polish the other knobs, or dull down the "new" knob with wood-stain in varnish, but for now I am happy with the disparity as it makes the triumph clear. 


  1. Well that was meant ! I would dull it down a bit, there are bronzing products you can buy, they act a bit like varnish so maybe just some darl oak varnish then some wire wool to take the shine off. Great job, I love these old oak pieces, they DID inspire from much older pieces. xoxo

  2. A £12.00 huge, solid oak dresser? Thank you, benefactors. ;)