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Antiques Considered - March 23, 2011

A family in the lower Northern Neck purchased this Chippendale gaming or card table at an antique shop in Richmond many years ago. They think the finish is original, as are the jackknife hinges, but the box underneath the top is missing, thus the identity of the secondary wood out of which it would have been made, remains unknown.

They are uncertain as to the piece’s age.

Gaming tables were the principal means of entertainment in both homes and taverns during the Colonial and Early American Periods. They were fairly common, and many have survived, then more were made during the Centennial Period. If we look at antiques as commodities, we can apply the law of supply and demand. In this instance the supply of both the 18th-century originals and 19-century reproductions is great and the demand is less.

Assuming the table is Centennial, it is worth $400. The missing card box keeps the value lower than a complete one would fetch. A 20th-century reproduction in most case would be at the same level. If the table is from the 18th century, the price could reach 10 times that figure.

Happy Antiquing!
Lisa and Henry Hull operate Commonwealth Antiques and Appraisals, Inc. at 5150 Jessie DuPont Hwy., 22570 (P. O. Box 35). Wicomico Church, Va. 22570. Write to them or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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