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Antiques Considered - May 12, 2010

 

A couple in Lancaster County acquired this Sheraton washstand at an estate sale about six years ago.  The marble is in excellent condition, and the wood of the base is mahogany, the legs being veneered.  They question whether the top and bottom are married.
This piece combines two distinct periods of American furniture making.   The base is pure Sheraton, dating from the period 1820 –1840.   The top is equally pure, but Victorian, not Sheraton, and dates from the period 1840 – 1860.  The two have been united in furniture matrimony, probably as the result of the original top of the base having been lost or destroyed.  Most likely, that top was mahogany, and not marble, unless it had been a pier table.  I suggest looking at the back to see if evidence of a mirrored back exists.  If it does, restoration to that form, although costly, could be justifiable.

The top is typical of a Victorian washstand.  Tops such as this one often come up at auctions and estate sales, and usually bring less than $50.  The marriage of these two pieces is effective, due primarily to the two being of the same measurements.
As a married piece of furniture the server/washstand is worth $300.  I would not countenance a divorce, unless positive evidence of the base having been a pier table is readily apparent. A period Sheraton pier table would be worth over $1,000, but if restored, as such this one would be less, given the loss of the original top and mirror.
Of married pieces that I have seen over the last 40 years, this one is one of the best as far as fitting together harmoniously.
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 there or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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