- Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 13:58
- Published on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 13:58
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This week we have a traditional Northern Neck piece that a gentleman recently acquired at an auction. It is a yellow pine chimney cupboard with early, if not original, tile red paint. When he purchased it, the catch was missing, and he ordered a replacement in the correct style; otherwise he has done nothing to the cupboard. The hinges are original, and in good working order.
Chimney cupboards, so called because they resemble a narrow chimney in size, have entered a new phase of popularity. They are quite serviceable, take up little space, and have a good “antique” look. This one typically has five shelves, all designed to hold jars of homemade preserves.
I have yet to see one that is factory-made. They were made of local lumber, often by the farmer whose wife would be filling the piece with her homemade canned goods. In this case due to the use of tongue-and-groove pine that has been cut with a circular saw, one can assume that the piece dates from the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, thus it is about 100 years old.
Most such pieces that I have seen in their original buttermilk paint are either blue or green. This one in tile red might be an old repainting. I recommend leaving the paint as it is, rather than stripping it, as it is unlikely that it was originally unpainted.
As chimney cupboards go, this is a nice one. It is worth $275, and possibly more at a good auction depending on the demand of the audience. This is the right time of the year to acquire a chimney cupboard, and this one needs only to be filled with some jars of good homemade preserves and canned fruits and vegetables.