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Antiques Considered - July 18, 2012

This etched glass lidded compote belongs to a lady I met many years ago.  She acquired it at an estate sale here in the Northern Neck, and prizes it as one of her best pieces of glass.  It is in excellent condition, and the base shows the correct amount of wear for its age.  She is thinking of giving it as a wedding present, and wishes to know if its value is sufficiently significant, as she thinks the newlyweds might not realize its value.

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 18, 2012

Antiques Considered - July 11, 2012

 

This captain’s chair comes from an early Northern Neck home where it is one of a set of six.   Unfortunately, three are in very bad condition, with spindles and rungs broken and unglued, and separation of the seat planks.  The wood appears to be oak, and none of the chairs has a label or identifying mark.  The owner is concerned whether the cost of restoration is worth the effort. 

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 11, 2012

Antiques Considered - July 4, 2012

 

A gentleman from Northumberland County recently purchased this chair, or should I say chair frame?, at a house sale for $25.  Both the primary and secondary woods are walnut, and the frame is sturdy, although the finish on the arms in spots has been worn away.  The fabric that has survived is not original, as evidenced by the previous nail holes in the frame.

Read more: Antiques Considered - July 4, 2012

Antiques Considered - June 27, 2012

 

 

At times antique appraisal work is akin to detective work.  This week we have a case in point.  Many years ago a lady in the Northern Neck purchased this “blanket chest.”  It is walnut with poplar secondary wood.  When the top opens it reveals the interiors of the two front drawers.  The hinges have some age, but are not original.  The finish is original.  The owner purchased it many years ago, and uses it as a television stand.

This piece is a fragment of what it once was, namely, an armoire.  The base is simply the bottom of an armoire, and the lid is a side panel reworked into a new purpose.  That the top opens to reveal the interior of the two drawers, rather than the space for blanket storage, is the giveaway. 

Read more: Antiques Considered - June 27, 2012

Antiques Considered - June 13, 2012

 

This French chair came from an estate sale, the owner having bought it for $5.  He thinks the wood is walnut.  It shows evidence of many slipcoverings, and the surviving fabric on the rear of the back appears to be silk.  It is structurally sound, as evidenced by the modern braces strengthening the legs to the seat frame.  He asks if it is worth restoring.

This is an excellent French chair, well worthy of a good restoration.  The style is Louis XV, with its distinctive cabriole legs and medallion back.  It dates from the late Second Empire or early Third Republic,1870, when the French returned to earlier motifs for their inspiration. 

The French experienced a similar nostalgia for the earlier periods of design that we did in America.  We refer to the American return to the early styles as Centennial because it took place at the time of the American Centennial, which historically coincided with the dawning of the Third Republic in France.

French furniture remains popular in this country, particularly in urban areas.  The interest is less in the South, except for Louisiana, and in rural regions.  Properly upholstered, this chair would be worth $350.  If we could determine that it is not from the third quarter of the nineteenth century, but is an original from the mid-eighteenth century, the value would be several times greater.

As to the restoration, I recommend a simple design with a gold or silver background, and if the old fabric on the back is to be covered, I suggest leaving it under the new application.  It is part of the chair's history, particularly if it is original.  The upholsterer should be able to determine at what stage it was applied.

Clearly this chair was part of a parlor or dining room suite.  It has classic lines, and should be saved as a great relic of its period.           

Happy Antiquing!

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