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Antiques Considered - September 30, 2009

 

This week’s column sets a new record in that the inquiry comes from the greatest distance, namely Oregon.  A lady there, whose mother lives in the Northern Neck has asked about her Sheraton banquet table, and six dining chairs.  The table is mahogany, and consists of three sections, two banquet ends and a center gateleg dropleaf table.

The top is solid, rather than veneer, and the legs are fluted, terminating in brass ball-and-cup feet.  She would like to sell it, and has found the market there to be very poor. She asks whether she should ship it east to sell in a better venue.

This table is a pristine example of the American Federal Period, dating from the 1820s.  The finish is original, and the hinges are sturdy.  The groves to hold the ends to the center are in good order, and no warping seems to be present.

Almost certainly, the table comes from the East Coast, probably New York.  The chairs appear to be 60 to 100 years later, and are likely of factory manufacture.  They blend well with the table, but from the termination of the feet, one can tell that the design is different.  Unfortunately the set seems to have only one armchair, whereas two would be more desirable so that one could be at each end.  As a consequence, I would not hesitate to sell the chairs separately from the table. 

The table is worth $1,800., and the chairs are worth $900.  Although not a set, they go well together, and I suspect that someone, who already had the table, bought them to try to have a set that was harmonious.  I have encountered several banquet tables where family members could not agree on dividing furniture, and have divided the table itself, two children each taking a banquet end, and another the dropleaf table. I trust this table will not meet such a fate.

Happy Antiquing...
Lisa and Henry Lane Hull operate Commonwealth Antiques and Appraisals, Inc. at 5150 Jessie DuPont Hwy. (P. O. 35) Wicomico Church, Virginia 22570. Write to him there, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with pictures and descriptions of items you wish to have him treat in “Antiques Considered.” Please include a stamped, addressed envelope if you wish a personal acknowledgement.

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