- Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 July 2009 15:00
- Published on Wednesday, 08 July 2009 15:00
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This étagère comes from a family in New Kent County. It has an ornately beveled mirror and retains its original finish. A granddaughter recently inherited it from her grandmother's house, which contained a number of fine antiques.
This piece dates from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. It is either late Victorian or early Edwardian. It is a typical parlor piece of that era.
A stenciled factory label or shipping document on the back might reveal where it was made, but most likely all we can say is that it is possibly of mid-Atlantic origin. The tone of the wood indicates that it has received excellent care, and the mirror is a true gem. The lines are well proportioned, and with so much shelf space, it is quite serviceable.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 July 2009 20:20
- Published on Wednesday, 01 July 2009 20:20
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This week we have a cranberry glass barber’s bottle from a writer in the Middle Peninsula. The glass is perfect, but the stopper is not original. The bottle is part of a large cranberry glass collection.
Barber’s bottles are very popular, especially ones in cranberry glass. This one is particularly nice. Many have chips and cracks because they were actually used in barbershops. This one is probably from the end of the 19th century. Unfortunately, it has lost its original stopper, which likely was made of cork and celluloid with a small hole for the barber to use in sprinkling the customer’s hair or neck.
As is, the bottle alone is worth $125. With the original stopper, it would be considerably higher. The glass is the great value, but the stopper would make the piece complete -- thus it plays a major role in determining the value of such a piece. At a good glass auction, this one might go higher still.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 June 2009 19:37
- Published on Wednesday, 24 June 2009 19:37
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Until last week this washstand sat in a storage garage in Lancaster County. It has descended through a Lower Northern Neck family, and fortunately has had nothing done to it over the years. The finish is almost worn off, and the hardware is original. The latter consists of a round iron ring through a brass eyelet against a brass collar. The wood is walnut, and the panels on the doors are birdseye maple. The secondary wood is poplar, and the casters are wooden. The sides are paneled, not solid.
This piece dates from the 1870s, and is likely of Mid-Atlantic origin. If kept well polished, the worn finish should be no problem. The color of the wood is excellent, and I suggest not refinishing it. The diminutive size, at 30 inches wide, would be a plus in an apartment.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 June 2009 17:18
- Published on Wednesday, 17 June 2009 17:18
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A transplant from Alexandria, who now lives in the Middle Peninsula, acquired this chimney cupboard some time ago. It is pine, standard tongue-and-groove, planking, handmade, and fitted on the inside to hold six guns.
It is about 6 feet tall, and has the original greenish-blue paint, which has worn nicely over the years. The original latch is still in use, and the padlock clasp is probably original also. Inside, two boxes, made from fruit crates, are probably for bullets.
This piece borders on being a primitive. Clearly, it is handmade. But by using mill produced tongue-and-groove flooring as the material, it is not -- strictly speaking -- what we should define as an authentic “primitive.” I suspect it dates from the early 20th century, but the origin is virtually impossible to determine.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 20:35
- Published on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 20:35
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A lady from Northumberland County bought this platform rocking chair a number of years ago. The wood is walnut and the upholstery, which is not original, is in excellent condition, although it is bright red.
This piece dates from the 1870s. Fortunately, the previous owner kept the original lines when the chair was re-upholstered: The tufting on the back was repeated. Often, to save money, people have Victorian pieces re-covered without having the tufting repeated. Despite the money spent with the upholsterer, this practice lessens the overall value. Here that did not happen.
The carving on the crest is exceptionally well done, and the overall lines are excellent. The chair shows the profound influence of Charles Eastlake, the Victorian designer who popularized the intaglio cut motif, which has been applied to the side carvings, apron and back. I suspect it came from a cabinet shop in the mid-Atlantic region, probably New York or Pennsylvania.