- Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 April 2012 15:05
- Published on Wednesday, 18 April 2012 15:05
- Hits: 509
A lady, who is 91, owns this walnut spinning wheel, which has passed through a number of generations of her family. It is in excellent condition with the original finish, but unfortunately the arm with the spool on it is missing. The framed fabric in the background is a place mat made of flax woven on the spinning wheel.
Spinning wheels are not as popular as they were a half-century ago. Their collectibility has declined, in part because few people are spinning anymore, and they take up space without serving any functional purpose. As with the larger flax
- Last Updated on Monday, 09 April 2012 15:47
- Published on Monday, 09 April 2012 15:47
- Hits: 525
A Northern Neck family, with Piedmont area connections, has owned this stoneware crock for many generations. It is a shade of gray-tan, and is in perfect condition, with no cracks or chips. It bears no markings, but from measuring, the family has concluded it holds two gallons. The shape of the lip on the top with the indentation below shows signs of the crock possibly once having a lid.
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 April 2012 16:01
- Published on Tuesday, 03 April 2012 16:01
- Hits: 503
A couple originally from the Midwest inherited this Red Wing butter churn many years ago. It is in perfect condition, and surprisingly has what appears to be the original stirrer, with great wear on the pole indicating it saw many years of good service. Other than the Red Wing stamp, the piece is unmarked.
This churn is an excellent example of the stoneware made in Red Wing, Minnesota beginning in the 1870s and continuing until the last business closed due to a strike in 1967. Red Wing is the city where many potteries operated, thus without more definitive evidence attribution to one of the many potteries that produced service pieces as well as dinnerware in the city is virtually impossible.
Here in Virginia Shenandoah Valley stoneware, which long antedates the production of Red Wing, is more collectible, but Red Wing has its own set of devotees, and its pieces command good prices.
Last summer at an estate sale we sold a four-gallon Red Wing crock for $400. The buyer was delighted to be able to find one that large here in Virginia. Ironically, the family that had owned the crock was also from the Midwest. In both of these instances the pieces came to Virginia with the families that had purchased them in the
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 15:31
- Published on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 15:31
- Hits: 528
A Northern Neck lady, who formerly lived in the Shenandoah Valley, purchased this jelly cabinet many years ago. The wood is walnut, and the simple hardware appears to be original. The ends are solid, as opposed to being paneled, and the secondary wood is poplar. The panels of the two doors are chamfered. The owner thinks the finish is original, as she can find no drip marks indicating refinishing.
The cabinet is typical of Shenandoah Valley construction, especially with the use of walnut and poplar. The architecture of the piece is excellent, and the iron handles of the drawers well could have been forged locally.
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 23:21
- Published on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 23:21
- Hits: 518
A Lancaster County collector purchased this Sheraton overmantel mirror many years ago. It has a gilt gesso frame, and the owner has “touched up” some of the missing gilt with gold paint. He thinks the glass is original as the reverse shows no signs of having been tampered with to replace the mirrors. A few additional chips have come about to the gilt, and the owner wishes to know if re-gilding would affect the value negatively.
This mirror dates from the 1830s, and although not rare is a good example of the period and the style. These pieces came along to meet the demands of Federal and Greek Revival houses with large imposing mantels that needed the enhancement of having impressive items above them.
The quality of this example is such that I recommend taking it to a competent restorer to have the previously applied gold paint removed, and that area as well as the more recent chipped section properly gold-leafed. The process should not be that expensive, but the end result would be more befitting of a piece of this elegance.
The mirror is worth $500. Proper restoration would increase the dollar amount by whatever the cost of the restoration would be. It has fine lines, and structurally appears to be in excellent condition. The Sheraton style is making a comeback, and we are finding that good pieces from that period are selling well. Chippendale, Queen Anne and Hepplewhite still command higher prices because of their greater appeal. To illustrate, a Chippendale overmantel mirror would sell for several times what this Sheraton one could bring.
A final word, I recommend hanging this mirror from both ends, even if it sits on a mantel. The weight is sufficiently great to cause it to fall off in an earthquake experience such as the one last summer. Merely placing it on the mantel is insufficient to guarantee its safety.
Lisa and Henry Hull operate Commonwealth Antiques and Appraisals, Inc. at 5150 Jessie DuPont Hwy., 22570 (P. O. Box 35). Wicomico Church, Va. 22570.