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Antiques Considered - August 3, 2011

A writer from Maryland has written describing her Scottish stoneware jug, which she recently received as a gift from her uncle.  The uncle's father, then a U.S. Coast Guard officer recovered the jug when it washed ashore in the 1930s on Parramore Island off the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  At the time he was stationed on the island.

When he found it, the jug was encased in a wicker basket, which later deteriorated after being left in a storage area with a dirt floor.  The piece bears the imprint of Possil Pottery and the number "4", which almost certainly designates the number of gallons it holds.  It is 19 inches tall.

In the nineteenth century the Possil Pottery produced these jugs for the vibrant Scottish whiskey market.  Obviously, it could be used only once,

Read more: Antiques Considered - August 3, 2011

Antiques Considered - July 27, 2011

Earlier this month a couple from the Northern Neck traveled out to the western part of the state where they bought this table at an antique shop for $50.  One of the front legs is slightly bowed, and the wood is maple, pine and cherry.  The drawer is not dovetailed, but is finished with rosehead nails.  The buyers think the finish is original.  They write asking if the table is worth what they paid for it.

This table is a typical early nineteenth-century example of Shenandoah Valley craftsmanship.  It dates from the 1820s and shows the usual mixture of woods that cabinetmakers of that region often used.  The bowed leg is not a significant defect, and I suggest not having it corrected.  The turnings are excellent, and as to overall quality, this piece is exceptional.

 

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 27, 2011

Antiques Considered - July 20, 2011

This week we have two pieces of soapstone that belong to a Northumberland County family.  One is an ornately carved lidded box and the other is one of a pair of bookends.  The two are in excellent condition and indicate intricate detail from the carver.   They were inherited and the present owners are not aware of their origin.

These pieces are Chinese, and reflect the prevailing interest in that country in making items for the Western

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 20, 2011

Antiques Considered - July 13, 2011

A Northern Neck couple inherited this stoneware crock and jug several years ago.  The crock is marked only by the blue stylized leaf on one side and the five-gallon jug by the large blue  "5" at the top and leaf nearer the bottom.  Each is in excellent condition with no cracks or chips.  The bottoms are unglazed.  The owners do not know the maker's name, nor place of origin.

These pieces date to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.  Although today we admire them for the artistry involved in making them, originally they served practical purposes.  The crock is a nice example of its genre, with its greatest value being in the blue decoration.  With

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 13, 2011

Antiques Considered - July 6, 2011

Recently I received an inquiry about this doorknocker that he purchased years ago from an antique dealer here in Virginia for $5.00.  It is cast iron and weighs several pounds.  It is encrusted with many layers of paint, the accumulation of which has lessened the crispness of the relief.  He used the knocker on his rear door, where unfortunately no one saw it.  Now his wife is urging him to sell it.

This piece dates from the middle of the nineteenth century and is typical of the style of

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 6, 2011

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