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Antiques Considered - February 29, 2012

 

A gentleman in Middlesex County purchased this table at auction recently, and has done some repair work on it.  He notes that the top is a replacement, using old wood that appears to have been re-planed.  The apron still has the two swing arms that supported the previous two leaves.
This table dates from the mid-nineteenth century, and probably originated in the mid-Atlantic region.  The late Sheraton legs are well-turned, and the new top boards

harmonize with them.
 The table is serviceable, and has good lines, but it is a fragment of what it originally was.  With the replacement top and the now redundant arm swings, the value has diminished considerably.  In its initial form the table was a typical example of its period, not rare, but still highly desirable.
Today the purist collector would not accept its renovated appearance, which does not mean that it is without value.  It conveys a good country motif, and would fit in well with primitive antiques.  As such, the present value would be $175.  A similar one in its original form would be over $400.
 When buying antiques one of the most important considerations should be condition.  When pieces are renovated to the extent of having lost their original form and purpose, the value is going to be reduced greatly.  This consideration should govern the determination of what to pay for them.  In this instance the value has been halved, and the change is irrevocable, short of putting on an entirely new top with the correct leaves.
 As I have written many times in the past, antiques are commodities, and their values go up and down with the changing market conditions, as well as the changing tastes of the times.  When buying for investment purposes, I always advise getting the most pristine quality that will survive the test of time, in other words aim for the best and you will be able to reconvert to cash under any market circumstances, and likely with a profit.
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.

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