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Antiques Considered - July 22, 2009

   A writer from the Lower Northern Neck purchased altthis English Regency chest at an antique shop in Alexandria many years ago. It is mahogany, with satinwood inlay and the original ivory escutcheons. Unfortunately, the original hardware, consisting of single center pulls, has been replaced with the present bails. The finish also is not original, and there is a minor piece missing from the top on the right side.

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 22, 2009

Antiques Considered - July 15, 2009

altA writer from King George e-mailed this picture of a lorgnette, which is from the family of a friend who is in her 60s.  The friend thought her grandmother might have brought it from Europe when she immigrated.  The glasses are perfect, and the frame appears to be gold-washed, but the sterling silver is tarnished.  The hallmark reads “STERLING,” but otherwise it is unmarked.
This piece is a prime example of the American Art Nouveau period of the 1880s and 1890s.The hallmark “STERLING” gives it away as being American. Lorgnettes were indispensable accessories for ladies going to the theater or to concerts in the evening.  They allowed “grande dames” to sit in their boxes or orchestra seats and view performances without wearing glasses.  Originally, the lorgnette might have been part of a large dresser set.

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 15, 2009

Antiques Considered - July 8, 2009

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.

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 8, 2009

Antiques Considered - July 1, 2009

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.

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 1, 2009

Antiques Considered - June 24, 2009

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.

Read more: Antiques Considered - June 24, 2009

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