The large drawer case in the first photo (on the right) was an existing 100 year old antique, which had the patina and character-building wear-and-tear you would expect. You'd have it too if you were that old.
We built two retail display cases and a customer service desk in all cherry heartwood -- then antiqued and distressed them to match the ambiance of that wonderful drawer case.
Distressing a furniture piece is an interesting emotional experience for a craftsman. You build the very best piece you can -- then you literally beat the crap out of it to give it that distressed, well-worn look which so many people like.