Searching for the Perfect Card Catalog Cabinet

Searching for the perfect card catalog cabinet? I know that is a strange title but it was something that actually came up in conversation a few days ago. Last week I listed a mid-century modern card catalog for sale on Facebook marketplace. I had a good bit of interest in it and I worked out a deal with a very nice couple who were excited about purchasing it.

Usually when I sell something through the Facebook marketplace, I will meet the customer at a local grocery store parking lot. I very rarely meet them at my house.  Since the card catalog cabinet was so large, I agreed to meet them at my home. As we were walking in to my house the husband asked me, “So why are you selling your card catalog cabinet?”

Without hesitation, I told him, “I have been searching for the perfect card catalog cabinet for years and this just isn’t the one for me.” I continued, “It may be the perfect one for you, but I haven’t found mine yet.”

And that was the truth. I have bought several over the years and while I like them all, none of them have been exactly what I am looking for.

This first one was really close though. It was an antique oak piece with six drawers. It had elegant Queen Anne style legs. The drawer pulls had been replaced with glass knobs that didn’t really look that great but it was still a very pretty cabinet. I sold it a couple of years ago in my antique booth. I wish I had kept that one. This isn’t the greatest photo of it. You can see it in the lower left corner. Isn’t it pretty?

I purchased this next one at Ben’s Furniture and Antiques. It is actually just about the perfect size. Ideally it would have one or two more rows of drawers and shorter legs, but three rows is still a nice size. I decided to sell it because I didn’t really like the type of wood that it was made of. It was a very pale wood and I prefer a darker wood. This was the one I sold last weekend. The lady who bought it from loved it. She even said it was the perfect one for her.

This next one actually came from Ben’s also. I had originally seen it at an estate sale and someone else had purchased it before I could. I bought it from them when they put it in their antique booth at Ben’s. It is a solid one, very heavy, and painted green. I really liked the size of it but I’d prefer to have one that is a natural wood color rather than one that has been painted. I kept it for a couple of years and actually just sold it today. The lady who purchased this one is also very excited about it so I guess it may be the perfect one for her too.

I am still looking. I want an older one in a medium to dark stain with 20 to 25 drawers.  I also want to find one for a great price. Card catalog cabinets are very popular now and the prices have gone up a lot over the years.

It’s not a trendy thing with me though. I have liked them ever since I was a little girl.  I remember my Mom would take me and my brothers to the library every week when we were children. Even back then, I just loved the look of them. Also my Mom worked as a librarian and I would actually like to find two of them, one for me and one for her.

I am still on the lookout for the perfect card catalog cabinet. There is no rush though because I know it won’t be easy to find. Also, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. I will continue my search and hopefully I will eventually find the perfect one.

One Response

  1. From what you are saying, I believe you are searching for an Library Bureau Sole Makers file cabinet.

    Started by Melvil Dewey ( yes the inventor of the Dewey decimal system )
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_Bureau

    My grandfather and then father and then myself had a faux wood painted metal Library Bureau cabinet with multiple sections. I just started restoring an oak 4 drawer file cabinet. It was painted pink. It does not have the original wood sides. (As many didn’t ).

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