- Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 05:00
- Hits: 581
Last week my son and I visited Menokin, the Richmond County home site of Francis Lightfoot Lee, who with his brother, Richard Henry Lee, signed The Declaration of Independence. When I was a child the house was standing in a state of decline, but still with structural integrity. As recently as the late 1960s the walls and roof were in place, but then calamity struck, and the building collapsed.
Over the past 15 years the Menokin Foundation, which owns the house and 500 acres, has been laboring to restore the structure. A large metal roof now covers the surviving corner walls, chimneys and small bit of roofline that remains. Nearby a visitor center and conservation building are the sites of the ongoing efforts to piece this massive jigsaw puzzle back together. Assuredly, the project is the most elaborate restoration ever attempted in the Northern Neck.
Sarah Dillard Pope, the Executive Director of the Foundation, had sent me pictures of this small locket with a lady’s portrait on its face and a small fragment of hair inside. On our visit I was able to see the locket in person, and observe the exquisite detail of the portrait, which is either on ivory or porcelain. It has one slight chip to the left, but otherwise is in good condition.
- Last Updated on Saturday, 05 January 2013 19:02
- Published on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 05:00
- Hits: 717
A gentleman from the lower Northern Neck has asked about this lemonade set that his mother bought many years ago. The set contains the lidded pitcher, and seven glasses, three of which have their original saucers. The latter are in cobalt blue and match the lid of the pitcher. The glasses and pitcher are a two-tone striped custard green shade. Unfortunately, several are missing, and three of the glasses have minor fleabite nicks on their rims.
This set is American, and probably dates from the interwar years, 1920–1940. I am virtually certain that originally it came from a factory in Ohio. The Buckeye State was the leader in producing fine glassware from the 19th century down until the latter half of the 20th century.
As to the city and factory, the possibility of identification becomes much more difficult. Without a bill of sale, a shipping invoice or an original box in which the set was packaged, specific attribution is almost impossible. Whichever factory produced this set
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 July 2010 14:25
- Published on Wednesday, 07 July 2010 14:25
- Hits: 438
A couple, who were among the first visitors to annual Waterford Festival in Loudon County in October 1952, purchased this bowl and potato masher at the old mill, which had become an antiques shop. They paid $5 for the bowl and $2 for the masher. Both had been refinished, but both are in solid condition with no splits or chips.
The bowl is pine and the masher is of undetermined wood. The stains in the bowl are the result of having stored fruits and vegetables in it. The couple died many years ago, and the pieces have passed through their family. The grandson would like to know how they have inflated in value.
- Last Updated on Saturday, 05 January 2013 19:10
- Published on Wednesday, 30 June 2010 05:00
- Hits: 445
A couple in suburban Maryland inherited this desk from his mother, who was a Norfolk antique dealer, who spent her last years here in the Northern Neck. She had bought the desk at an estate sale about ten years ago, and considered it to be one of her finest pieces. It is English oak, with its original finish, and has an amphitheater interior. The hardware is original.
This desk dates from the reign of King George III. If I were to put a date on it, I should say 1800. It is typical of the Chippendale-to-Georgian style, and is in remarkably good condition. The simplicity of the lines, and the dark tone of the English oak would make it a popular piece on today’s market.
- Last Updated on Saturday, 05 January 2013 19:12
- Published on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 05:00
- Hits: 504
A writer in King George has e-mailed us pictures of her pair of Celadon plates, which she inherited from her grandmother. They have the typical extensive Celadon decoration, and pale green lustre finish. They are 7&1/2 inches in diameter. The marks on the rear show that they date from before 1891, and, most importantly, indicate that they were for domestic use, rather than being for export. The Oriental craftsmen often saved their best work for home consumption.
These plates are Chinese, and date from the mid to late nineteenth-century. The hand-painted decoration is excellent, and the dissimilarities further demonstrate that the pieces are hand-done. Celadon came into its own a generation ago, and has become one of the most popular oriental genres over the last 40 years, but Canton and Rose Medallion remain the most collectible of oriental porcelains. It is a very durable porcelain of great density, and does not chip as easily as some European or American china.