- Last Updated on Thursday, 15 November 2012 11:53
- Published on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 14:12
- Hits: 889
"Ditchley" is one of the Northern Neck's greatest homes. Built by Kendall Lee in 1752, it sits overlooking Dividing Creek and the Chesapeake Bay in the lower reaches of Northumberland County, about four miles from Kilmarnock. The name derives from "Ditchley Park" in Oxfordshire , England, the home of Henry Lee, the Ranger of Woodstock during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. In 1930 it became the Virginia home of Alfred I. duPont and his wife, Jessie Dew Ball duPont.
They restored the mansion to its former glory, and introduced modern conveniences, such as a bathroom for every bedroom. Their principal home remained "Nemours" in Wilmington, Delaware, from whence they traveled back and forth to their home in Palm Beach, Florida either on the Seaboard Coastline Railway, of which they were the principal stockholders on their yacht, the "Nenemosha."
- Last Updated on Thursday, 15 November 2012 12:01
- Published on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 20:20
- Hits: 840
This Imari charger comes from a family in the lower Northern Neck. An ancestor bought it in Japan over a century ago, and it is in pristine condition. The colors are still brilliant, and the piece shows no evidence of wear. It is 26 inches in diameter. The sides of the back are decorated, but bear no writing to indicate a maker.
Imari remains the most popular form of Japanese porcelain. Its name comes from the city of Imari, which was the pre-eminent porcelain center of Imperial Japan. Works made there bear the distinctive deep blue and maroon/rust decoration, usually highlighted, as in this case, with heavy gold embellishment.
- Last Updated on Saturday, 05 January 2013 22:09
- Published on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 19:59
- Hits: 782
A lady in Lancaster County inherited this miniature armoire from her mother, who collected antiques throughout her lifetime. The primary wood is walnut and the secondary is poplar. The mirror is original, as is the finish. It is 15 inches high. The owner has found no identifying signature or label for the maker.
This piece is a veritable gem of an antique. The Empire to Victorian design is excellent that the condition is quite good, especially when one considers that children have played with the armoire as a toy. The finials are well turned, as are the small knobs on the drawers. Overall, the design is one of the best that I have seen.
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 22:04
- Published on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 22:04
- Hits: 781
This pair of French beds has belonged to a family for many years, having been acquired in France. The wood has a gesso overlayment, upon which the painting has been applied. They have a few scratches and dings, but are in generally good condition. The owners do not know what the wood under the finish is. The owners are questioning whether to have the surfaces of the beds restored.
These beds date from the nineteenth century, and are typical of the style of that era, which corresponds with what we should term Sheraton, but probably are from the period of the Second Empire or early Third Republic. The lines are good, and the few nicks do not affect the value appreciably.
French furniture remains popular, as I noted in last week's column about the semainier. It sells well on the auction market, and in shops. These are especially nice examples, but I caution that they might require custom-made mattresses and springs due to the difference in measurements coming from French cabinetmakers following the metric system. They also might require custom-made spreads and sheets.
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 22:06
- Published on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 22:06
- Hits: 795
This French semainier belonged to a lady of French descent, who inherited the piece from a friend. The owner recently died, and the piece now belongs to her daughter. The primary wood appears to be a form of fruitwood, and the secondary wood is oak. The marble top is dark gray, and in perfect condition. The chest retains its original hardware.
This piece is a great example of fine French furniture of the nineteenth century. It dates from the 1840s, during the reign of Louis Philippe, who styled his monarchy, which lasted form 1830 to 1848, as the Kingdom of the French, rather than of France, as the regime had been known for over 800 years. He was known as a bourgeois king, who was popular with the people until he was overthrown during the Revolution of 1848.