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Antiques Considered - October 23, 2013

A family in the lower Northern Neck has inherited a house filled with a variety of colonial and Federal Period paneling. The house was built about 40 years ago on a site overlooking the Rappahannock River by a couple who collected the woodwork from an old house in Nelson County.  Apparently, it was a great do-it-yourself project, and they designed the new house to accommodate the woodwork, replicating the rooms from which it came.

The current family has been there for 30 years, and now they are looking to sell the home. The house contains several fine mantelpieces, and they are interested in learning the value of the attached furnishings in marketing the property for sale.

The picture depicts one of the mantels and some of the wall paneling, as well as a corner of one of the early doors.

Obviously, the value of the woodwork is greatest in situ, that is, in the house as a marketing tool for selling the real estate. Parceling it out only can be done by evaluating the replacement cost that one should pay from an architectural antiques dealer.

The mantelpiece shown in the photograph is pine, and probably was painted originally. It dates from the early nineteenth century. A similar one in a shop would sell for $500. The vertical board-and batten pine paneling clearly has been stripped of its paint, and originally came from a less formal room than the mantel.

The paneling is virtually impossible to assess independently of the house itself. Whereas the mantel could be removed, the paneling would suffer in an effort to dismantle the room. Similar paneling in a 12’ by 12’ room would cost between $1000 and $1500. From the small part of the door that is visible, assuming the lock is of the same period, the value would be $350. It also appears to be from the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century.

Architectural antiques still command a good market, and this home is replete with many fine examples.
Happy Antiquing!

You can reach Henry Lane Hull at Commonwealth Antiques & Appraisals, Inc., P.O. Box 35, Wicomico Church, VA 22579. Cell:  804-580-0514 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . www.commonwealthantiques.com

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