Mon07282014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

Antiques Considered - December 17, 2008

This week's entry is an antique mahogany humidor, replete with its original lining.  It has belonged to a family in Lancaster County since it was new, and is in excellent condition, with its original finish and tin interior.  The lock works perfectly, and there is a silver escutcheon.
The humidor dates from the last quarter of the nineteenth century, when gentlemen retired in the evening to their smoking rooms to enjoy puffing away on a pristine Havana cigar, preferably sharing their stash with like-minded guests.
Unfortunately, over the years many of these boxes underwent radical transformations.  The tin interiors were stripped of the perforated tinware lining, and then painted or varnished, converting the pieces to letterboxes.  This one, having not only its interior, but also the silver escutcheon and brass corner pieces, is particularly nice.
By all means do not refinish, and do not paint the tinware.  The latter never will rust, and its presence doubles the value of the box.  In such fine condition, this humidor is worth $150, and at a good auction with cigar connoisseurs present the price might be even higher.
Humidor is an interesting word in that it speaks to the theory that the cigars should be able to breathe, that is, air should be circulating around them, thus the perforation of the tin top, all designed to keep the cigars fresh and moist.  Today, when smoking cigars offends many people due to the heavy smoke and odor, this custom has decreased.  To diehards it still is important, and items relating to the tobacco habits have their loyal followers.
Not being a smoker myself, I tend not to pay much attention to tobacco-related items, but I can appreciate the value of them to those who do.  This humidor would be a fine addition to any such collection.
Happy Antiquing ….

Antiques Considered - December 10, 2008

This week a student asks about his autographed copy of MY AMERICAN CENTURY by the recently deceased Studs Terkel.  He bought it used, and did not know of the autograph until he had gotten it home.  He wonders if it is worth more than the $2 he paid, given the author's demise.  The condition is like new.
Studs Terkel is an icon in American pop culture.  He was born in Chicago in 1912, attended the University of Chicago and its Law School before setting out on a seventy-five-year odyssey as actor, radio host, interviewer, interviewee, and all-around gadfly.
He published MY AMERICAN CENTURY in 1997, and died last month.  Clearly the book is worth more now that he is dead.  It is also worth more because the inscription merely reads "Peace Studs Terkel."   Unless the person to whom the author inscribes the book is famous, the value is greater without a name.  A book inscribed to a celebrity is a different story in that provenance, or ownership, is an important factor in evaluating books and other personal property.
This book is worth $40.  Not sufficient time has elapsed to know how much greater the value will be due to the author's death.  He had an enormous following, which will continue to revere his works.  Those admirers who do not have such a copy might be willing to pay significantly more now that the supply is fixed and cannot increase.
I recommend checking on the internet periodically to see what price fluctuations take place over the next year or two.  In the meantime, I suggest keeping the book out of sunlight in a closed clear plastic bag to prevent mold, mildew, silverfish or accidental damage.
You made good use of the $2 you spent for this volume.• Lisa  and Henry Lane Hull operate Commonwealth Antiques and Appraisals, Inc. at 5150 Jessie DuPont  Hwy. (P.O.Box 35) Wicomico Church, Virginia 22579, a firm which he founded in 1973.  The appraisal service began in 1976.  Write to him there,  or by e-mail at comantqu @ crosslink.net, with pictures and descriptions of items you wish to have him treat in "Antiques Considered."
Please include a stamped, addressed envelope if you wish a personal acknowledgement. Snapshots once sent on to the JOURNAL for publication, cannot be returned.

Antiques Considered - December 3, 2008

A couple in the Northern Neck called me several months ago to ask about a small repair on their postmaster's desk which dates from the mid-nineteenth century.  The gentleman's great-grandfather was postmaster of a small office in the Shenandoah Valley, and next to the desk they display his photograph at the desk and his certificate of appointment signed by the Postmaster General in 1889.
They had moved to a new home and wanted to place the desk in the entry hall, but the upper cornice on the left side was broken, with a piece missing.  Their question was whether repairing the desk would affect its value negatively, or whether they should leave it alone.
Their quandary is not untypical.  Many people debate the same question, and my answer is usually the same, namely, that whatever the antique, unless it is stored in a barn, individuals live with it every day.  Consequently, the importance of a piece is relative to its function. In a beautiful, new home, featuring a fine antique with minor damage is not what most of us would do.  I know I should not.
Repairing this piece of cornice, in my judgment, was precisely the right course to take.  As fixed the new top is secure, and less likely to lose more from dusting or future moving.  In this case securing the piece is as important as securing the provenance.  The desk is a splendid family heirloom, with intrinsic value as a fine example of Shenandoah Valley craftsmanship.  It is in the Federal and Hepplewhite style, and shows the fine pegjoinery of the native walnut with which it is made.
As an antique, this desk combines all of the significant aspects which I look for when examining any piece:  1) we can date its age to the early nineteenth century; 2) the condition is excellent with its original finish still in tact, 3) we know the place, if not the maker, of origin, and 4) we have a chain of unbroken provenance.  I am happy that the owners chose the course that they did.
• Lisa  and Henry Lane Hull operate Commonwealth Antiques and Appraisals, Inc. at 5150 Jessie DuPont  Hwy. (P.O.Box 35) Wicomico Church, Virginia 22579, a firm which he founded in 1973.  The appraisal service began in 1976.  Write to him there,  or by e-mail at comantqu @ crosslink.net, with pictures and descriptions of items you wish to have him treat in "Antiques Considered."
Please include a stamped, addressed envelope if you wish a personal acknowledgement. Snapshots once sent on to the JOURNAL for publication, cannot be returned.

Antiques Considered - November 26, 2008

This pair of wicker rocking chairs come from an estate in Lancaster County.  The purchaser bought them for $100, and asks if he should repaint them.  Presently they are painted tan, but he is certain that is not the original color.  One has two small breaks in the wicker on one arm, but otherwise they are in fine condition.
These rocking chairs date from the late nineteenth century or early twentieth century.  They show the use of the heavy wicker caning, and despite the two small breaks, appear to be quite presentable.  Unless one is anxious to perpetuate a shabby chic motif, no harm will come from repainting them in a desirable color.
 They will come out more successfully if you use a sprayer, rather than a brush, in painting them.  Originally, I suspect they were either white or dark green.   The upholstery obviously is not original, and I should not hesitate to recover using a more appropriate fabric, preferably in a plain tone or in striped cloth.
Perhaps no other genre of antiques has surpassed wicker in surging prices over the last three decades.  In the 1970s these chairs would have sold for $25 each, at most.  Wicker was not popular and few people appreciated its quality or decorative value.  Today the situation is precisely the reverse.
Wicker always sells for hefty prices, and only grows in popularity.  Antique suites, one of which likely contained these two rocking chairs and a settee, tea cart, and a couple of lolling chairs, along with a table or two, and the ubiquitous fernstand, frequently bring over $1,000.  At $100. for both of these, the buyer did very well.  I have seen similar ones for $150. each.
We think of modern technology as being on a constant upswing, but with wicker, the reverse is true.  Modern pieces are not of the quality of these earlier ones, and will not last as long.  The pieces made in this generation are virtually indestructible, and wear well through the years.

• Lisa  and Henry Lane Hull operate Commonwealth Antiques and Appraisals, Inc. at 5150 Jessie DuPont  Hwy. (P.O.Box 35) Wicomico Church, Virginia 22579, a firm which he founded in 1973.  The appraisal service began in 1976.  Write to him there,  or by e-mail at comantqu @ crosslink.net, with pictures and descriptions of items you wish to have him treat in "Antiques Considered."
Please include a stamped, addressed envelope if you wish a personal acknowledgement. Snapshots once sent on to the JOURNAL for publication, cannot be returned.
 

201407chamber

 

201407source

 

201401kgpr

Contact Us

The Journal Press, Inc. P. O. Box 409, 10250 Kings Hwy. King George, VA 22485

EditorialAdvertisingOffice
Jessica Herrink, Publisher

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Carla Gutridge
540-709-7061
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Leonard Banks, Production
540-469-4196
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Leonard Banks, Sports editor
540-469-4196
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Steve Detwiler
540-709-7288
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Drue Murray
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phyllis Cook
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Charlene Franks
540-709-7075
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Linda Farneth,
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Elizabeth Foreman,
540-709-7076
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Charlene Franks, Accounts
540-709-7075
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Richard Leggitt
540-993-7460
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Bonnie Gouvisis
540-775-2024
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lori Deem, Church & Community
540-709-7495
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Advertising Information
540-775-2024
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jessica Herrink
540-469-4031
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Journal Print Shop

Contact Steve Detwiler

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

540-709-7288 • 540-775-2024

Quikey

Bulletline

link4

Your Invitation Place

Balloon House