- Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 00:00
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A local gentleman inherited this Victorian marbletop chest from his mother, who acquired it at an antique shop. The wood is walnut with the center panels being in burl veneer. It has what appears to be the original hardware and the marble is in excellent condition. The casters also appear to be original, but the owner is uncertain as to the age of the present finish. The piece exhibits no traces of having had an attached mirror and frame.
The maker of this chest either left shortly after constructing it to fight in the War Between the States, or completed it soon after his return at War’s end. In other words, it dates from the 1850s or late 1860s. Undoubtedly, it was part of a large bedroom suite that probably consisted of a double bed, washstand, mirrored dresser, and armoire.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 00:00
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A family in the lower Northern Neck purchased this Chippendale gaming or card table at an antique shop in Richmond many years ago. They think the finish is original, as are the jackknife hinges, but the box underneath the top is missing, thus the identity of the secondary wood out of which it would have been made, remains unknown.
- Last Updated on Friday, 04 January 2013 16:28
- Published on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 00:00
- Hits: 435
As a general rule I do not use this space to describe reproductions, but this week I am making an exception. A couple in Northumberland County special-ordered this piece to be made by Reese’s Antiques in Richmond back in the 1950s to meet the dimensions of the dining room in their 1874 home overlooking the water. It is mahogany, and meets the traditional lines one should expect of an 1800-era piece.
This sideboard has value here in Virginia far beyond that of the average reproduction. Reese’s Antiques on Main
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 March 2011 16:29
- Published on Wednesday, 09 March 2011 16:29
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This elegant Victorian settee belongs to a collector in Tidewater. He purchased it at an antique shop, and had it upholstered’ following the pattern of earlier coverings in a fine ecru damask. The wood frame is walnut, and still has the original finish.
The loveseat dates from the middle of the nineteenth century, and is probably from a cabinet shop in the Mid-Atlantic region. I would date it at 1850. The ornate carving and elaborate design indicate a high level of
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 March 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 02 March 2011 00:00
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A recent inquiry via e-mail concerns this neo-classical bench that the owner purchased in an antique shop many years ago. It is mahogany and has paw feet rising to winged phoenix-style capitals. The gold velvet upholstery is not original, but the finish of the mahogany frame is, retaining the patina of its age.
The bench is a fine example of the neo-classical revival that began in the eighteenth century and received new emphasis after Napoleon Bonaparte's conquest of Egypt in the beginning of the nineteenth century. Cabinetmakers, initially in Europe, and later in the United States, began producing furniture that they thought replicated that of ancient times.
That phase abated with the coming of the more elaborate Victorian Era that took its inspiration from the Middle Ages, particularly the Gothic period, but the neo-classical returned in the 1870s and 1880s, this time lasting down into the early twentieth century. This bench is a product of that era. The Aesthetic Movement of the 1870s was the bridge between the Victorian and the revived Neo-classical. In the twentieth century much of the rejuvenated interest in neo-classical furniture derived from Jacqueline Kennedy's emphasis on bringing original pieces of it back to The White House.
Neo-classical furniture of all periods remains quite popular, and commands good figures on the auction market. Although the first period pieces bring far more, those from this second phase, or revival, are not without their own following. This piece is worth $450. If it were from the stage of the early nineteenth century the figure would be many times that amount.
As to the gold velvet not being original, I suggest leaving it alone, but if the owner wishes to bring the fabric more into conformity with the style of the frame, I suggest using a striped pattern more in keeping with what would have been original to the piece.
A final word, in the photograph to the side of the bench is what appears to be the base of a fine late Victorian piano lamp, which probably would deserve an "Antiques Considered" in its own right.