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The Tale of Gibbard

Did you know Bobby Orr is in bed with Gibbard? Well, he sleeps in a Gibbard bed.

The Gibbard Furniture Shops Limited in Napanee, Ontario was Canada’s oldest furniture factory of 173 years until they closed their doors in 2009. Founded by cabinet maker John Gibbard who moved to “The Napanee” in 1835. He leased a mill on the same canal that runs through the Gibbard plant and began manufacturing furniture, coffins and various other items for the local farming community. The Gibbard family kept control of the Gibbard company for four generations. It was purchased by Jack McPherson in 1940, who had worked as a Sales Manager with Gibbard in the 20s.

The company launched its flagship brand of cherry and mahogany furniture in 1964, the Canadian Legacy collection. This brand was sold by retailers from Kingston, Ontario to Madrid, Spain. Gibbard furniture is in use in seventy different Canadian embassies and high commissions worldwide.

Gibbard furniture has become highly collectible since the Napanee factory closed, and with the furniture market taking a nosedive over the past decade its the perfect time to buy. Some Gibbard pieces such as the anniversary tea wagon have dropped in value from $1500 to $450, dressers can be found for $200 or less and night stands for only $100 each. We’ve sold dozens of Gibbard pieces over the years, and there’s currently not much room for its value to go anywhere but up. As these pieces become harder and harder to find in good condition, the value will rise even more.

The Gibbard property has recently been purchased, renovated and renamed to the Gibbard District “honouring Napanee’s historic landmark by transforming it into a waterfront residential space with retail opportunities”.

Rumour has it even Sir John A. MacDonald wrote on a Gibbard desk, so if you come across one you may want to research its provenance.

NOTE: Lots and lots of you have been reaching out to us looking for more information on your Gibbard furniture, and we really appreciate your interest. I want to make it clear that Gibbard is very difficult to accurately age since it could be custom ordered at any point after introduction. For this reason we cannot reasonably estimate its age based on a  photo, but we are happy to provide an estimate for value if you email us a picture to countytraders@gmail.com

71 thoughts on “The Tale of Gibbard”

  1. Hi. Do you know where I can find information on Gibbard. I have some chairs that I would like to know how old they are.

  2. I have a tea wagon which I inherited but not sure of the manufacturer. Can you please tell me where on the piece Gibbard would be identified?

  3. Hi I am looking to buy a gibbard Canadian legacy mahogany sofa table or sideboard that is at maximum 60″ wide. Do you know of anyone or where I can find one.

    1. Hi Dawne,

      We’ve had them before but none at the moment. We only have a Gibbard buffet hutch and corner cabinet right now. There are lots of Gibbard pieces on Kijiji but many of them are located in the GTA and priced much higher than we would price them at our store – but maybe a deal will pop up on exactly what you’re looking for!

  4. Hello! I purchased a desk in so so condition in Kingston at a ReStore for $20 with plans to restore. Did they use oak for their desks? This one is a mid-century modern style one with one small drawer in the centre and three largr drawers on the right. The left has straight round thin spindles instead of just two legs or feet. It’s blonde in colour. Any information you can dig up would be appreciated. How bedt to restore it so I do ‘devalue’ it accidentally?

    1. We haven’t sold any Gibbard furniture in oak but I can’t say it was never made! With the current market for furniture how it is, I wouldn’t be worried about lowering its value by restoring a damaged piece. A professionally restored piece would sell in our store for a similar price to high quality originals

      1. The early Gibbard furniture was made of Oak. They are stamped as J Gibbard or J. Gibbard & Son.
        When the McPherson family took over in the 40’s they started in exotic woods.

  5. Just wanted to say that the Gibbard tea wagon my parents received from my grandparents for a wedding gift in 1957, has been in my possession for 29 years and still beautiful. I would never sell it as I treasure it.

  6. Good evening!

    We have many pieces of furniture in mahogany from Gibbard. The hardware(door handle) is broken on one of the bookcases.

    Can you tell me who was the supplier for Gibbard Furniture and/or where can I buy a replacement part?

    Thanks

    1. Good evening Yvon! The handle will largely depend on the age of your bookcase. Some handles were made specifically for Gibbard and others were also used by other manufacturers but I couldn’t tell you which are which. You may be able to find a replacement on eBay, or you could post a picture of the handle you need as a Kijiji wanted ad. Or on Facebook MarketPlace. Another option would be contacting a local metal worker to custom make a new one, or fix the old one if it’s a clean break!

  7. Hi Adam,
    I sent an email a couple of weeks ago (with pictures) asking for advice on pricing a Gibbard bedroom suite for a private sale. I’m not always at the location of the phone number I included so may not have been available if you called. I would be pleased to hear from you by return email at your earliest convenience.

    Regards, Glenn Allen

  8. I have a china cabinet. In the drawer was a piece of paper, with a number and Geo Ass on it. It is a gibbards china cabinet. On the paper it read 1835. I have called gibbards in the past over the china cabinet. The number was the number of it, the name was most likely who made it. I still have the piece. Original wheels on it.

    1. Hey there – I have a desk as well and wanted similar information. The desk has wooden repeating spindle legs at one end. After looking on line in was not able to find similar and would like to know the year manufactured and value.

      Thanks,

      Robert

      1. Unfortunately Gibbard is extremely difficult to accurately age as pieces could be custom ordered any time after introduction. If you email us a photo of it I can give you an idea what we would currently sell it for at our store, though fair warning the market has continued to decline at least in our area.

  9. Hello – sounds like you know your Gibbard! I am interested in a table and chairs through a private sale. The chairs look very similar to a gibbard chair I bought 25 years ago but cannot find that Gibbard stamp on the table. The owner tells me it is Gibbard. Ideas on authentication? Thank you!

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Lots of Gibbard sets were only marked on either the chairs or the table. The three common types of markings they used are wood burned stamps, metal plates or paper tags (or a combination). If the table had been marked with a paper or metal label they could have been removed. You may be able to see staple holes from a paper label, or rectangular discoloration if a metal label was removed after many years. We’ve bought and sold some Gibbard pieces that were missing their identification marks, but I’ve yet to see a ‘fake’ Gibbard piece that mimics the quality. In my opinion, it’s pretty safe to say that if it looks like Gibbard it probably is Gibbard.

  10. Do you know if the old Gibbard website is still around or what it was called so I can look it up on the web archive.
    It was kept active for years but I can’t find it now.
    Thanks

      1. I have a blond Gibbard buffet& sideboard plus table and six chairs, buffet& sideboard are stamped in the drawer cannot find marking on table and chairs not sure if they are Gibbard

  11. Hi
    I bought a Gibbard “tea table” (that’s what she called it) on a buy/sell site. It’s a small table that has fold down sides and a small drawer also. It has the Gibbsrd stamp burnt into the drawer. I knew right away when I saw it that it was antique and quality made. I intended to use it as my first project with chalk paint but am now thinking I must leave this as original! What would be the value of this table?
    Gayle

      1. Hi Cathy,

        We recently sold a numbered anniversary edition tea wagon for $450, and have sold dozens of regular ones from $95-$295 over the past few years – most recently we sold a mahogany one in great shape with removable glass top serving tray for $175.

  12. Hi, just purchased a great Gibbard buffet and hutch with table and 6 chairs… would like to know more about it… where can I send you pictures?

  13. Hi there. I just purchased a dining room table at my local thrift store. It turns out its a Gibbard. Im very excited about this amazing find ( i got the table plus 3 leaves and 4 chairs for $100.00). Im wondering where i can get more info about my table. Specifically the age and worth (although i will not be selling it ever)
    Thanks very much 😊

  14. I have a Gibbard dining room suite comprised of a dining room table, a hutch and 6 dining room chairs. The number 138 is stamped on the back of the hutch and underside of the table. I am looking to sell the suite and would like to know the value.

    Thanks and have a great day

  15. Hello. I just purchased a square 2 tiered coffee table that has Gibbard Since 1935 stamped/burned underneath. Unfortunately someone decided to mortar in pennies, covering the whole top. My goal is restore this table back to what it should look like. Wish me luck 🙂

  16. Would it be possible to obtain the finishing technique for mahogany. I remember years ago in Eaton’s seeing a black bedroom set, but when you got close to it you could see the red mahogany quite clearly. We have a Gibbard walnut bedroom set, but I would like to build a set and finish it hopefully the way I remember the mahogany.

  17. Was there ever a time in the early years of Gibbard (approx 1920) that the Gibbard trade mark would not be located on the pieces? Or possibly located in an obscure area? I have a dining suite from 1920 and the lady I bought it from thought it may be a Gibbard. There is a very old paper under the table top however all that is visible is the year it was made 1920.

    Thanks, Susan

    1. I haven’t seen any unmarked Gibbard sets, they’ve always been marked on either the table or chairs – sometimes both but not always. Though many sets are marked with plaques rather than the logo burned into the wood, and those plaques could have been removed. If it’s in the style of Gibbard and period 1920, it’s likely Gibbard.

  18. hi there look under the chair, mine have the gibbard logo ect. burnt into the wood with a made in canada date 1837… Good luck Shar

  19. Hi there, we are in the process of downsizing and have 2 Gibbard Curio Cabinets, an adjustable dining table with 8 dining chairs, and a buffet/sideboard. All are made out of Mahogany from Honduras and all have the official Gibbard stamp. I keep reading that the furniture is highly valued but would you have any suggestions as to where we should be trying to sell them at. As I’ve had zero luck so far.

    1. We sell ours both at our store and on Facebook MarketPlace, though lately Gibbard has been quite difficult to get high values for. For example, we’ve sold a few small Gibbard tables over the past year for less than $50 a piece – and they still took a while to sell at that price. Maybe contacting one of your local antique stores would be a good option as well.

  20. hi can you find out about The SALERNO year made 1960 i need to know the value of this table 4 chairs buffet and hutch and the2 drawer server . fredlenten.this is the best style they ever made it does not date .

  21. I have a coffee table with a matching end tables that I would like to sell! Anyway I could get a reasonable quote?

  22. Hi! I just acquired a Gibbard buffet and hutch (complete with tag and care guide, I’d love to know how old they are! And thanks for the company history, I love learning this kind of stuff!

    1. Hi there, unfortunately Gibbard furniture is extremely difficult to age accurately as most sets could be custom ordered at any time after introduction. Some ex-Gibbard employees can tell the maker by the codes on the back which can provide insight into its age, but I don’t have that information.

  23. I have been told my Gibbard tea wagon was one of the first if not the first tea wagon Gibbard made. My grandmother was a Gibbard (Lillian Blanche)and her brother George Gibbard sent her the tea wagon as he was running the furniture factory at the time. Not sure of the year but George died in 1929.

  24. We have a Gibbard’s cherry corner china cabinet purchased new in about 2000 or 2001. It has glass shelves with an inside light which is a lovely feature. Excellent condition. We can also add a Gibbards decorative bowl – retiring employees got these. How much is it worth?

    1. It’s still a very tough market for Gibbard. We’ve seen Gibbard china cabinets sell from $30-$200 at auction over the past year, and we have two in our store for $200 each right now. We sold a few small Gibbard table caddy’s for $50 each recently, though the bowl for employees only would definitely have more value. I’d recommend hanging on to both of these items until the market recovers!

    1. Gibbard is a tough sell in the current market. Years ago they were a quick sale around $2000, but we had one in store recently and it took us several months to sell it for $400. We would ask half that price for the non-numbered version.

  25. Can you tell me if the Legacy Collection was ever made in Dark Walnut. Or was it only made in Honduran Mahogany and Cherrywood?

      1. Thank you Adam – I am hoping you can answer one more question. Can you tell me if the top height of the Finials is same on the Queen (54 inches) Headboard as the King Headboard height from floor/bottom to top of Finials.

        Thank You
        Norah

  26. Thank you Adam – I am hoping you can answer one more question. Can you tell me if the top height of the Finials is same on the Queen (54 inches) Headboard as the King Headboard height from floor/bottom to top of Finials.

    Thank You
    Norah

  27. I have a Gibbard Mahogany bedroom suite that I bought when I got married over 50 years ago. Although I took very good care of it there are some wear spots and a few nicks from a few moves. Is there any furniture refurbishing shops that you would recommend or some advice.

    1. Gibbard had a very complex multi-stage finishing technique that would be very difficult to replicate, but a professional refinisher should be able to produce a similar look!

    1. I haven’t seen any Gibbard furniture with an original stone top. If you have one I’d probably lean toward it being added after the fact, but they did take custom orders so anything is possible provided it’s factory stamped Gibbard.

  28. Hi, can you please tell me if every piece of Gibbard furniture would have a Gibbard stamp somewhere on it. I acquired a dresser which someone told me is a Gibbard, but I can’t find any markings on it to confirm it. Thanks.

    1. Gibbard furniture was always marked somewhere, though there are some caveats. A table & chair set for example was sometimes either marked just on the table or just on the chairs. Markings can also either be a wood burn or a paper / metal plate – and both plates can come off.

  29. I have a Gibbard bedroom set — a high chest of drawers and a low dresser — from the late 1980s that my parents bought. I’d characterize it as a dark walnut finish; I’ll send you a photo to see if you can identify the model. But I’m asking about best approaches for repairs. The high chest has suffered some scraping along the bottom drawer, deep enough to need something like a lacquer stick to do the repairs. It’s about an inch wide, and the thickness of a veneer sheet. Any recommendations on repair?

  30. Hi Adam, I found this on the 1stdibs website as follows: Elegant mahogany and brass nine drawer long dresser (with mirror) from the Viscount collection made by Gibbard Furniture Company of Canada in March 1956. Only 60 were made. The Viscount was advertised as the ultimate in Gibbard modern furniture. It was the largest and most commodious bedroom suite in the Gibbard Modern line at that time. It was made in Mahogany and finished in African Red Mahogany, Havana Tan or a two tone combination. There was another collection called the modernist which had 50 only made supposedly too. Are these legit collections? Never seen them or heard of them anywhere else.

    1. There are a few Gibbard collections I haven’t been able to find official Gibbard files with names associated with them, the one 1stDibs is referring to as Viscount/Modernist is one of them. Several sites seem to use those names interchangeably, and I have sold quite a few pieces of that set over the years for a small fraction of the price 1stDibs is asking. We go through a lot of furniture at our store, but unless we’ve just been very lucky I would have doubts that only 50 sets of that collection were made – though we are fairly close to the old factory. I’d be interested to see any old advertisements from Gibbard mentioning the set with further info!

      1. Thank you for the information Adam. I recently acquired a gibbards mahogany drop leaf duncan phyfe style coffee table that has brass feet & 1 drawer with brass pulls which the previous owners family purchased in 1943. Tried looking for another like it & only found one example of a walnut version of it on the web. Have you ever heard tell or seen one like I am describing? Just curious if it was a common piece.

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