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Antiques Considered - April 4, 2012

A couple originally from the Midwest inherited this Red Wing butter churn many years ago.  It is in perfect condition, and surprisingly has what appears to be the original stirrer, with great wear on the pole indicating it saw many years of good service.  Other than the Red Wing stamp, the piece is unmarked.

This churn is an excellent example of the stoneware made in Red Wing, Minnesota beginning in the 1870s and continuing until the last business closed due to a strike in 1967.   Red Wing is the city where many potteries operated, thus without more definitive evidence attribution to one of the many potteries that produced service pieces as well as dinnerware in the city is virtually impossible.

Here in Virginia Shenandoah Valley stoneware, which long antedates the production of Red Wing, is more collectible, but Red Wing has its own set of devotees, and its pieces command good prices.

Last summer at an estate sale we sold a four-gallon Red Wing crock for $400.  The buyer was delighted to be able to find one that large here in Virginia.  Ironically, the family that had owned the crock was also from the Midwest.  In both of these instances the pieces came to Virginia with the families that had purchased them in the

Read more: Antiques Considered - April 4, 2012

Antiques Considered - March 28, 2012

A Northern Neck lady, who formerly lived in the Shenandoah Valley, purchased this jelly cabinet many years ago.  The wood is walnut, and the simple hardware appears to be original.  The ends are solid, as opposed to being paneled, and the secondary wood is poplar.  The panels of the two doors are chamfered.  The owner thinks the finish is original, as she can find no drip marks indicating refinishing.

The cabinet is typical of Shenandoah Valley construction, especially with the use of walnut and poplar.  The architecture of the piece is excellent, and the iron handles of the drawers well could have been forged locally.

Read more: Antiques Considered - March 28, 2012

Antiques Considered - March 21, 2012

A Lancaster County collector purchased this Sheraton overmantel mirror many years ago.  It has a gilt gesso frame, and the owner has “touched up” some of the missing gilt with gold paint.  He thinks the glass is original as the reverse shows no signs of having been tampered with to replace the mirrors.  A few additional chips have come about to the gilt, and the owner wishes to know if re-gilding would affect the value negatively.

This mirror dates from the 1830s, and although not rare is a good example of the period and the style.  These pieces came along to meet the demands of Federal and Greek Revival houses with large imposing mantels that needed the enhancement of having impressive items above them.

The quality of this example is such that I recommend taking it to a competent restorer to have the previously applied gold paint removed, and that area as well as the more recent chipped section properly gold-leafed.  The process should not be that expensive, but the end result would be more befitting of a piece of this elegance.

The mirror is worth $500.  Proper restoration would increase the dollar amount by whatever the cost of the restoration would be.  It has fine lines, and structurally appears to be in excellent condition.  The Sheraton style is making a comeback, and we are finding that good pieces from that period are selling well.  Chippendale, Queen Anne and Hepplewhite still command higher prices because of their greater appeal.  To illustrate, a Chippendale overmantel mirror would sell for several times what this Sheraton one could bring.

 A final word, I recommend hanging this mirror from both ends, even if it sits on a mantel.  The weight is sufficiently great to cause it to fall off in an earthquake experience such as the one last summer.  Merely placing it on the mantel is insufficient to guarantee its safety.

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.

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

Read more: Antiques Considered - February 29, 2012

Antiques Considered - February 22, 2012


A Northern Neck couple inherited this butter crock from her family many years ago.  It has the original lid, and most unusually, the original wire handle.  The condition is quite good, considering that it was used on a farm for several generations.  A couple of chips appear to have come from the time of the firing in the kiln, but otherwise the condition is excellent.  It bears no maker's identification.

Read more: Antiques Considered - February 22, 2012

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