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Antiques Considered - November 10, 2010

This week we have an unusual topic.  Many years ago a couple, who lived in one of the finest Antebellum homes in Lancaster County, asked me to appraise their Shenandoah Valley huntboard. They had acquired it early in their marriage, and wanted to insure it prior to a move out of the area.  Soon thereafter they left, and I never saw them again.

Read more: Antiques Considered - November 10, 2010

Antiques Considered - November 3, 2010

The owners of this piecrust table have prized it for the last forty years since purchasing it from a noted antiques dealer in Georgetown. He told them it was English. It is mahogany with the original hand-forged, three-armed, bracket holding the three legs to the column still in place, as well as the original clasp holding the top in place. The finish is old, but not original, and structurally the table is in untouched condition.
Indeed this table is of British origin, dating from the late eighteenth century, the high point of the Georgian Period of great British cabinetmaking. The shaping of the legs and reeding of the column are of exceptional quality. The hand tooling of the top is excellent. That the table has been refinished does adversely affect its overall value, but it still is a wonderful piece of craftsmanship. The wood appears to be Honduran mahogany, one of the darkest strains of that species.

Read more: Antiques Considered - November 3, 2010

Antiques Considered - October 27, 2010

Over the course of my decades in the antiques business one of the most rapid rises in popularity I have witnessed is that of Japanese porcelain hallmarked “Nippon.”  In the 1970s nice pieces of such wares brought very little money, at a time when “Occupied Japan” items were quite the rage. Today the difference is astounding. Simple Nippon dishes sell for over $25, and more important pieces bring into hundreds of dollars, while the craze for Occupied Japan has abated somewhat.
This week’s item is a Nippon vase belonging to a Northern Neck couple, who found it many years ago at an antique shop. They bought it because they liked the color, which matched other decor in the room where they planned to use it. They have acquired no other pieces, thus they are not Nippon collectors, but always have liked this piece.
The marking, “Nippon”, on china indicates that it was made between 1890 and 1930, and that it was intended for foreign markets, whether American or European. The factories that produced it were destroyed in the Second World War, and those built after the war did not replicate the quality of the work of the earlier ones.
This piece is particularly nice, with excellent decoration in the painting and in the gold leaf enamel highlighting. The shape is distinctive, as most Nippon is, and the

Read more: Antiques Considered - October 27, 2010

Antiques Considered - October 13, 2010

altA retired couple originally from Alexandria purchased this cabinet many years ago.  It is cherry, and, although not old, is made from old wood.  Guests in their home often think it is an antique, the craftsmanship on the piece is of such quality.
This cabinet, or as more popularly called, “hutch”, is in the style of 1820 Pennsylvania, as well as Shenandoah Valley, furniture.  The use of old wood in its making adds to the aura of its being an antique.  The patina is quite good, and the design is excellent.  The market for good reproductions such as this one is quite strong.  The auction price could reach $1,000.
A similar piece in its original condition could go into thousands of dollars.  Here in Virginia Valley pieces bring more than anywhere else.  The similarity with Pennsylvania pieces comes from the similar backgrounds of the early settlers in Western Pennsylvania down through the Shenandoah Valley.

Read more: Antiques Considered - October 13, 2010

Antiques Considered - October 6, 2010

This pine desk dates from the mid-nineteenth century.  The owners purchased it at an antique shop in Pennsylvania many years ago.   It already had been refinished, but the knob and hinges are original.  The top contains an inkwell, and the doors are held together with mortise and tenon construction.
The interior below the writing surface has the traditional segmented sections for letters and writing tools, and the cabinet below is plain.  Structurally, it is in excellent condition, and is finished on the back, thus it can be displayed with all four sides visible.

Read more: Antiques Considered - October 6, 2010

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