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Old 10-30-2017, 12:24 PM   #1
xrundog
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Faux Dunhill Project

I really should have known better.

I bought this humidor on Ebay (of course). It looked a little funky to me. Dunhill humidors are usually pretty restrained in their decoration and I.D. tags. But the humidor is early and I thought that maybe in the early 20th century they had done things differently. The box is definitely about 1910.
Today I received the humidor. What I think happened is that in the 70s-80s someone had some Dunhill badges from that time (70s) and thought they would upgrade their old humidor. So they badged it and put some new brass handlesand corner guards on it, and then used some steel wool to take off some of that old alligator finish.
The ebay pics weren't quite good enough for me to see all the nuance, but the signs were there and I was aware. It was just plausible enough to be interesting. I paid a bit more than usual, but not enough for me to cry foul.
As it is I think I'll fix it up and sell it as a curiosity. Unless I'm wrong and it's genuine.
But I don't think so.
If one of you think I'm wrong please chime in and tell me why. I'd love to read it.

The Dunhill badge sucked me in.




Newer Dunhill badges on a 1910 humidor. The handles look newer too.



The brass isn't tarnished right for it to be old. When did Dunhill have a logo with the funky N?


Last edited by xrundog; 10-30-2017 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:13 PM   #2
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The screws on the Alfred Dunhill plaque are not equivelant to the other ones. I think it's fake.
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:00 PM   #3
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If I had it before me I could be confident that it was or wasn't a good humidor from gilded age london. There are a dozen things that look off. I can't even tell if that badge is right, it seems to be in far worse condition than the shield, and why would that shield have spent a century without engraving?

I don't know dunhill's work. I just don't see that as being the work of the best tobacconist in england.
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Old 11-03-2017, 02:00 PM   #4
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Well, I see blank nameplates all the time. a good 50% of the time. It's period for the humidor. I removed the top badge and one of the handles. If they were original the varnish underneath should be smooth because it won't oxidize with something over it. It was crackled.
The good part is that the humidor looks to have some really sweet quartersawn oak grain! It will look good. The handles are good quality and a nice addition. The badges are BS but will make a nice conversation starter. Stay tuned, I'll post some pics for fun as I get into it.
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Old 11-03-2017, 10:10 PM   #5
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I like the wood. that is exactly what I expect to see in a true vintage piece of oak. I don't know if you already know this, but quarter sawn wood wastes a lot of lumber as opposed to flat sawn. flat sawing wood utilizes all possible wood, but the character of the lumber sucks. That's why you won't see much modern quartersawn wood.

I wonder if you have ever run into the antiques roadshow finish. There was a formula for wood polish that circulated for decades, maybe forties into the sixties, to "refresh" and polish a surface. Turpentine, linseed oil, etc, rub it onto the existing finish and let dry. It made a mucky, alligatored abomination. a lot of very good furniture was ruined that way.

The guy who invented Silicone in furniture wax should have been garrotted with his own guts. the guy who invented paint/antiquing furniture needs a serious ass kicking.

One time, I found a nice fifties (jetson style) end table. Antiqued with white gunk. Hell, the table was really sweet walnut veneer, well built, looked nice. I stripped, but nothing could get the white undercoat out of the grain. I finally wound up using the minwax gel, and it sealed the traces of white away. Damn, it looked nice, but wasn't our thing.
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Old 11-04-2017, 04:32 PM   #6
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I stripped this humidor today. It was even messier than I remembered. But the wood looks pretty good. In the pic the lid isn't completely dry. But you can see that there is some crazy grain there. Next step is filling some small holes and sanding it. I like the remnants of dark stain. I think I'll stain it with golden oak. The dark remnants will give a nice antique look.
I think I'll leave the center nameplate off. If it had a name and date it would be interesting. Blank it just breaks up the grain. I'll keep the Dunhill badge. The faux Dunhill aspect is a feature.
I'm probably going to use True Oil as a finish. I want the grain to pop and Tried and True on quartersawn oak isn't as great as I wish it was.

Here you go:

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Old 11-05-2017, 02:19 PM   #7
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Okay, sanded and stained. It's looking sweet! This is gonna be a good one.

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Old 11-07-2017, 08:51 AM   #8
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4 coats of True Oil and it looks pretty good. Finish is kind of satiny. I think this box looks as good as it could.

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Old 11-08-2017, 10:53 AM   #9
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Side view with all the jewelry attached. It turned out great!

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Old 11-09-2017, 07:17 AM   #10
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Nice! You have a way with wood.
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