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Antiques Considered - July 9, 2014

This mahogany two-drawer cabinet belongs to a family who inherited it from their French ancestors, although family tradition holds that the piece is Dutch.  Aside from a few small dings to the veneer, it is in excellent condition.

Indeed, the bombe’ style of the cabinet tends to confirm the family lore about the piece being Dutch.  It dates from the late eighteenth century, and represents a style that was quite popular at that time.  Bombe’ pieces, that is furniture with the distended, bulbous lines, were typically Dutch, but other countries produced similar furniture.  It has become perhaps the most characteristic aspect of Antique Dutch furniture.

Being a mercantile nation the Dutch had contacts around the world, despite the small size of their own country.  As a result from their colonies and from other countries they were able to obtain exotic woods, which their cabinetmakers worked into their distinctive furniture.  

Although not as much in vogue as English or French furniture, the market for Dutch furniture remains strong, even if rarified.  In short, collectors of Dutch pieces are not plentiful, but those who specialize in them are avid.

This piece is worth $750.  I suggest having the “minor dings” of the veneer repaired professionally in order to avoid having them become larger as a result of aggressive dusting.  A dust cloth hitting a ding at the right angle could make the cost of repair far greater.  

The lines and overall architecture of this cabinet are splendid, and it would be a featured piece at any auction of good eighteenth and nineteenth-century European antiques.  Lastly, I advise checking over the drawers and the back to see if any evidence remains of a maker’s signature or label.

Henry Lane Hull and his wife Lisa operate Commonwealth Antiques and Appraisals, Inc. at 5150 Jessie duPont Hwy. in Wicomico Church, VA.  Write to him at P. O. Box 35, Wicomico Church, VA 22579 or e-mail questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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