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Antiques Considered - May 8, 2013

This bentwood cradle belongs to a family from the Shenandoah Valley, now living in the Northern Neck. The wood appears to be oak, and the owners think the handmade mattress is original. The finish is also original.
 Cradles are interesting period pieces, and this one is a good example of the style of the late nineteenth

Read more: Antiques Considered - May 8, 2013

Antiques Considered - May 1, 2013

This cabinet, which some refer to as a hutch, is a part of the inheritance of a Fredericksburg family.  It is either fruitwood or walnut, and is in excellent condition.  The knobs might be replacements, but the finish is original.  The shelves are stationary, and the back is paneled with solid planks, and not made of plywood.

Read more: Antiques Considered - May 1, 2013

Antiques Considered - April 24, 2013

This compote belongs to a lady in the lower Northern Neck, who acquired it at an antiques shop over 40 years ago. She notes that many visitors to her home think it is cut glass, when in reality it is pressed glass. It is in excellent condition, with the proper signs of wear on the bottom. It is one-piece, 12 inches high, and 12 inches in diameter.  She is downsizing, and in the preparations is considering selling the compote, and asks if the Internet is

Read more: Antiques Considered - April 24, 2013

Antiques Considered - April 17, 2013

A gentleman in Middlesex County purchased this Roseville cider pitcher many years ago.  It has been a prized possession in his home, but now he is considering selling it.  The condition is perfect, and the piece is not artist-signed.  The colors remain vivid.  He has inquired as to the current value, and does not recall what he paid for it.

Read more: Antiques Considered - April 17, 2013

Antiques Considered - April 10, 2013

This pier mirror has been in the same Northern Neck family, who moved here from Alexandria, since it was new in the middle of the nineteenth century.  The wood is walnut, and the finish is original.  The piece stands seven feet tall.  The mirror has a one-and-a-half inch bevel, and shows signs of the typical discoloration that develops in the silvering of such old glass.

This mirror is a fine example of its period.  It dates from the 1870s, shortly after the War Between the States, and is particularly interesting because of the small porthole mirror in the crest at the top.  From the standpoint of overall worth, the discoloration of the mirror is an asset, not a liability in that it bespeaks its originality.  To replace it would be to diminish the mirror’s value.  I also recommend against having it re-silvered.

The term “pier mirror” derives from its original function to serve in a large parlor between two windows on the pier, or wall, between them.  Often the term is misapplied, and is used colloquially as “peer mirror”, meaning that people peer into it, but such usage is not historically correct.  The marble shelf on the base is also typical, and as this piece does not have brass or iron hooks on the sides of the frame, it is not what is commonly called a “hall tree”, another Victorian introduction that served in a front hall to hold hats and coats.

Granted that not every house can accommodate a piece of furniture over seven feet tall, thus limiting its marketability, for a period Victorian house or a business this piece would fit in quite well.  It is worth $600, but as noted the market is limited, due both to its size and current prevailing tastes.

 Happy Antiquing!

Henry Lane Hull and wife, Lisa, own Commonwealth Antiques & Appraisals, Inc. at P.O. Box 35, Wicomico Church, VA 22579. Call 804.580.3301 or Cell:  804.580.0514 or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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