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Antiques Considered - November 3, 2010

The owners of this piecrust table have prized it for the last forty years since purchasing it from a noted antiques dealer in Georgetown. He told them it was English. It is mahogany with the original hand-forged, three-armed, bracket holding the three legs to the column still in place, as well as the original clasp holding the top in place. The finish is old, but not original, and structurally the table is in untouched condition.
Indeed this table is of British origin, dating from the late eighteenth century, the high point of the Georgian Period of great British cabinetmaking. The shaping of the legs and reeding of the column are of exceptional quality. The hand tooling of the top is excellent. That the table has been refinished does adversely affect its overall value, but it still is a wonderful piece of craftsmanship. The wood appears to be Honduran mahogany, one of the darkest strains of that species.

The table is worth $1,500 in its present condition. With the original finish a comparable one would be twice as much, and a pristine American one could fetch five times that figure. These ranges reflect the continuing dominance of American pieces on the market at large. Granted many collectors specializing in English antiques abound, but the American pieces continue to garner the most interest and the highest prices.
Although the collectors did not comment on the lamp, I notice that it is a fine oriental ginger jar, and of significant value in its own right, assuming it is old. Its size and bulbous shape especially are pleasing, and indicate that it probably is Chinese. Unfortunately, it looks as if the bottom has been drilled to accommodate electrification, which takes from its value. Today most pieces of porcelain can be turned into electric lamps without drilling, simply by having the cord come off from the switch. I insert this observation in the hope that readers will avoid having good pieces of porcelain harmed by drilling in the electrification process.
Happy Antiquing!
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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