the antique post office register

by | Oct 4, 2021 | All Things Home, Antiques, art supplies, Favorite Finds, Home Studio, My House, Organizing | 41 comments

As someone who enjoys unique antique finds and getting goodies in the mail, last week was a banner week!  I received several highly anticipated packages (I’ll share about those in other posts) and I made a trip to one of my favorite local consignment shops to pick up a vintage pond yacht I spotted and reserved on their Instagram stories.  Of course, while I was in the shop, I needed to take a look around and just a few steps in the door, I knew I was leaving with more than just the pond yacht when I spotted this amazing antique post office register…

antique post office register | miss mustard seed

I had a silent dialogue with myself of how I didn’t really need this piece and I wasn’t even sure if I had room for it in my studio.  But, the price was so good for such a unique, quality piece ($228) and all of the drawers and dividers are perfect for art supplies.  I had that moment where I knew I would regret it if I didn’t just go for it.  So, I pulled the tag off of the antique post office register and carried it with me as I looked through the store.

Of course, the minute I decide to buy something, I immediately become paranoid that someone else is going to buy it.

antique post office register | miss mustard seed

And yes, I was wearing my furry Crocs.  I was just planning on running in and picking up the little sailboat, remember.  I ended up finding a few other things I couldn’t pass up as well, but I’ll share them in another post.

When I got home, I sent Jeff a text, warning him that I would need a little bit of help carrying a piece into the house and putting casters on it.  Me bringing furniture home and needing help unloading used to be a very regular occurrence, but now that rarely happens, so I feel like it’s best to give him a little bit of notice of what he’s coming home to!

Fortunately, I had a set of casters that were perfect for this piece.  They’re not vintage or antique, which would’ve looked cooler, but these rubber wheels would be much better for rolling the heavy piece without damaging the floor.  Since I want to have the flexibility to move pieces around in my studio as needed, I want most pieces to be on sliders or casters.  The bottom is solid oak, so we were easily able to secure the casters with screws.

Now, I had the task of figuring out where to put the antique-post-office-register-turned-art-supply-cabinet.  I rolled it into the middle of the studio, sat in a chair, and stared at everything for a good long while, rearranging in my head.

antique post office register | miss mustard seed

I had to find a little amusement in the fact that Jeff told me about three pieces of furniture ago that I already maxed out the studio with furniture.  He walked into the studio and watched me sitting in the chair, deep in contemplation.  “Oh, I’m going to make it work.  It’ll work.”

“I have no doubt that you will.”

While I’m not amazing at spatial awareness or estimating the sizes of things in general, I seem to have a keen eye for knowing exactly what will fit in my van without a measuring tape.  In addition, I also have a good sense of what will fit into a room and what won’t.  I knew this piece would fit, it was just a matter of figuring out where it would fit and function the best.  And, of course, I also care about how it looks in its final spot.  It’s okay for the room to look filled, but I don’t want it to look cramped.  For some of you, I passed that point three pieces of furniture ago!

I had some possible ideas, so I started rolling and scooting the furniture.  Most of them ended up looking awkward and not really being functional.  I finally swapped the drafting table and easel and that was the ticket to making room for the antique post office register.

antique post office register | art studio | miss mustard seed

My easel actually started out in this corner and I like it here even better than by the window.  The light is a little softer in this spot as well.  And having this new cabinet next to the easel is perfect.  I can move the brush tote and set up a still life on top to paint and, naturally, I can fill the drawers with supplies.

antique post office register | art studio | miss mustard seed

And, let’s talk about these drawers.  They were the greatest selling point, after all.  Had this just been a little chest of drawers, I could’ve easily passed it up…

antique post office register | art studio | miss mustard seed

But the top three drawers are register drawers, so they each have a till for bills and smaller cubbies for coins, stamps, and other little supplies.

antique post office register | art studio | miss mustard seed

All of the trays lift out giving me endless organizational options.

antique post office register | art studio | miss mustard seed

Most of the cubbies are sized perfectly for art supplies and it’s even better that I can lift out a tray to take it over to my work table.

antique post office register | art studio | miss mustard seed

I haven’t fully filled and organized it, yet, because I need to really think through what makes the most sense to put in each drawer and I don’t want to rush that process.  As I work in the newly rearranged studio, it’ll become evident what will make the most sense.

And, the little cabinet is absolutely perfect for storing bottles of oils, solvents, and glues that need to be stored upright.  I’ve rearranged it a bit even since this picture was taken.

antique post office register | art studio | miss mustard seed

The bottom drawers are undivided and perfectly sized for holding pads of paper, panels for painting, or art supplies that are too bulky for register drawers.  I’ll share how the rest of the studio shaped up in another post but isn’t this antique post office register just the perfect find for an art studio?

Oh, and as a side note, I am calling it an antique “post office register” because that’s what the consignment shop called it!  It was sitting next to a post office desk that, I assume, came from the same place.  It’s possible that it’s a register that was used in a place other than a post office, but I’m just going to go with it.

Has anyone ever seen a similar piece?


  1. J Pearson

    What a beautiful piece! I would not have been able to pass on it either for such a great price.

    • Blain Konkle

      That thing is awesome….

  2. Analía

    I think you may like to come to one of the auctions in Uruguay:

    Those pieces of furniture are just your style!

    Greetings from Uruguay!

    • Vickie White

      I know I say this every time, but this piece is absolutely my favorite of your finds! Until the next one….. Love your eye!

  3. Jo

    A beautiful treasure, perfect in every way for art supplies!

  4. Melinda

    I love it. Were you able to get a key?

    • Barbara

      I am in love with this piece. I think if we were shopping together like we were back in Carlisle you and I would have been fighting over it. Although, you would have won I guess? You drove that day!! Miss you. Enjoy the piece.

  5. Bea

    I have an affinity for wooden pieces with drawers. Your new piece is right up my alley! What a perfect find for you and it looks at home in your studio! No wonder you are excited about it!

  6. Julie Ritter

    What a fabulous FIND ! I would not have been able to pass this up. You definitely would have regretted not buying it. IT’S SO STINKING CUTE. Super cool. : )

    • Rita

      It’s a fabulous find and perfect for your studio. You will definitely use it. I’ve been saying no to a lot of pieces lately unless I have the place. Learning from you to be selective and choosing quality over quantity.

  7. MaryLisa

    The little side door would have sold me immediately! Terrific find!!!

  8. Jennifer

    That is so perfect! And the lady right above said what I was going to say about living that little door! I love that kind of latch and would have made me have to get it! Is the pond boat for downstairs? Sounds like a good fit. Can’t wait to see what else you found! 🤗🤗

    • Carole Prisk

      Great find and meant for you!

  9. jean

    It’s gorgeous and so flexible for art supplies. I was wondering why it was called a “register” but I get it now. How come I can never find cool things like that where I live?!!

  10. Debra

    Gah gah gorgeous!! I love how things “find” us. I just stumbled on an antique rug and huge mirror, I totally didn’t need. If it speaks to you, you will find the place for it! And the pond yacht 😍😍

  11. Jane

    Perfect unique piece for your studio or anywhere in your house! I am glad you didn’t pass it by!

  12. Sue in Northern Iowa

    Omg, I love it! I would have bought it in a heartbeat, too!

  13. Donna Doble-Brown

    What a find Marian! I just love it for exactly what you’re using it for!
    So cool! 💚

  14. Phoebe

    I have no idea of the date on this piece but in my imagination I see a “Little House on the Prarie” family member buying stamps from it when they lived in Minnesota.

  15. Mayanna

    I am so jealous!!! ❤️

  16. Judith A Karlson

    Marion…..can you reveal where your favorite consignment shop is? I’m thinking it might be Kismet in Rochester? That’s one of my favorites!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yep! I linked to it!

  17. Cynthia Johnson

    I’m would not have even contemplated it. Perhaps we all know something that you don’t 🙂 If Marian lives something she will find a way to fit it into her home!

    It’s beautiful and so useful!


    • Cynthia Johnson

      Should say… LOVES …

  18. Penny Bracken

    Some pieces are just waiting to enter your life and find their place in your home…
    This is one of those pieces! Enjoy it

  19. Cheryl

    What a great find! I have never seen nor heard of such a piece but I love it!


    Marian, your antique post officer register is so unique! So glad that you bought it! Enjoy!

  21. Addie

    LOVE It!!!!! I for one, would never think your studio is crowded……it is a work station and this piece is a natural “work horse” staple. It is perfect!!! Have fun filling those drawers.
    By the way…how big of a room is your studio? And was that room a big reason why you knew the house would work for you?

  22. Ruth A

    A beautiful piece!!!

  23. Cheri

    Girl that is an amazing score! I’m glad you found it before I did because would have wanted it, but didn’t have a place for it.

  24. Karen Platner

    Beauty & function- too good to pass up!

  25. Carolyn


    I absolutely love this Antique Post Office Register, Marian!

  26. Tracy Suzanne DeLoach

    Absolutely beautiful condition. Years ago we drove out of state to purchase an 1880’s bank. lol It’s was all the individual oak walls with ornate iron work at each teller station. Basically it was all the walls that separated the employees from the customers. It was so beautiful but we resold it. It’s pretty hard to find room for a bank in the average house. heehee.

  27. Laura

    What a lovely piece!

  28. Eve Lewis

    It is lovely! I found a piece last year that was from an old post master’s home. But it was antiqued green. I tried to strip it, but it was veneer. I ended up painting it fuschia!
    But your find is an absolutely beautiful piece! You did great! What’s one more beautiful and functional piece where you will use it most! Well done!

  29. SueA

    My shopping buddy, Louise, only made a purchase if it was “to die for”. It’s a pretty good standard. With her guidance, may she rest in peace, I no longer make purchases I regret and rarely regret it when I do not make an “essential” purchase.

  30. Kim

    LOL! I saw that at Kismet last week and was kicking myself for not buying it immediately. When I went back for it an hour later it was gone! I’m glad it went to a good home. Lesson learned – grab it if you like it!

  31. Suzette

    That piece of furniture is beautiful!!!
    I can see why it caught your eye, because it’s exactly your style! Your DNA decor.!
    Love it!

  32. Deanna Worm

    Oh SWOON! I love this.

    My purchase along this line was an old dental cabinet that I found in Southern Minnesota many years ago. Could not let it pass me by!

    However, I think I would trade my dental cabinet for this beauty.

    Thank you for sharing.

  33. Suz

    We got an item we love from an estate sale years ago – it was labelled as a Post Master’s Desk, made of birch and oak. It has one long drawer, a ton of little cubbies behind a pull-down front, and two small latched doors at the top. Such a pretty piece (and who can resist the cubbies?)!

  34. Christy Keyton

    I am trying not to be green with envy. Years ago I found a small solid oak six drawer library cabinet. I had it packed and put it on the airplane to bring home from Colorado. I still love it. This piece is wonderful!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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