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Antiques Considered - November 10, 2010

This week we have an unusual topic.  Many years ago a couple, who lived in one of the finest Antebellum homes in Lancaster County, asked me to appraise their Shenandoah Valley huntboard. They had acquired it early in their marriage, and wanted to insure it prior to a move out of the area.  Soon thereafter they left, and I never saw them again.

Two years ago I read of the gentleman’s death, and a month later of his wife’s.  A few weeks passed and their daughter called to ask if our firm could undertake selling some of the items.  I replied affirmatively, and was off to Williamsburg to get the pieces for sale, including the huntboard and a great Shenandoah Valley corner cupboard.
The corner cupboard sold at once, but the huntboard did not move as quickly.  A few weeks ago my good wife decided to put the huntboard on our website, and immediately we had three inquiries: one from the Roanoke area, one from Connecticut, and one from the upper Shenandoah Valley.
One of the parties drove to our gallery to see it, and another began serious telephone negotiations.  We came to an agreement, and his check arrived in the mail three days later.  I advised him to use a professional mover, and he agreed.  Last week the moving company sent its van and crew, and after a fifty-year absence, the huntboard is now back in the area where it originated about 1810.  
Part of being in the antiques business is to develop a level of detachment, otherwise one wants to keep everything one finds.  That much said, I must admit I experienced a few thoughts of pure delight that this magnificent piece in its original condition had found a home where a superb craftsman had made it about 1810.  To me, the coming of full circle for this icon of Shenandoah Valley artistry was a truly happy experience.  May its new owners, whom I have not met in person, enjoy it as much as we enjoyed being its custodian these last two years.
Lisa and Henry Hull operate Commonwealth Antiques and Appraisals, Inc. at 5150 Jessie DuPont Hwy. 22570. (P.O. 35). Wicomico Church, VA 22570. Write to them or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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