Philadelphia Highboy, ca. 1765
Appraised Value: $40,000 - $60,000 (1997)
$40,000 - $60,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 5
Appraisal Video: (2:05)
Senior Vice President & Director, American Furniture and Decorative Arts
APPRAISER: Now here's a good piece of furniture. This is the first Philadelphia highboy that I've seen on the show.
GUEST: It's been in our family for about 200 years now.
APPRAISER: Did it descend right from the original owner?
GUEST: I believe that it did.
APPRAISER: It has... The back of the drawer has the names of the original owners on it. So all the original owners... here we go, we just look here. It lists here Anne Taylor. Right, Anne Taylor was the original one and then it came down through the Newbold family. In 1861, William Newbold and then 1890, Thomas and then to Charlotte Black.
GUEST: Right, Charlotte Black was my great-aunt.
APPRAISER: That's your Great-aunt and then this is you here.
GUEST: That's me. Yeah, last one. I got it in 1985.
APPRAISER: And was the family from Philadelphia?
GUEST: The family was from Gordontown, New Jersey, which is right outside of Philadelphia. And I understand they were Quakers, which explains why the piece is so plain and that the only adornment that they were allowed was the little heart on the bottom.
APPRAISER: It's a classic, early Philadelphia highboy made in the Queen Ann style right about 1766 so probably made for Mrs. Taylor. And it may have been possibly a dowry... a wedding dowry gift. And it has classic black walnut which you see in the drawer fronts. Classic Philadelphia midmoldings, which extend from the lower section and then this heart-pierce skirt is shaped really perfectly. It sort of runs into these cabriole legs with angular knees which you see in Philadelphia in this period. And these what we call Spanish or Flemish feet. And the interior, just to look at this drawer you have here yellow pine which is typical of this Philadelphia region, and yellow pine was used throughout the middle Atlantic states in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and further south. And you have these great dovetails here and here are the cabinetmaker's marks to lay out this drawer. These are the original chalk marks that we pointed out before right in the center drawer. Have you ever had the highboy appraised?
GUEST: It was appraised when we got it as part of my father's estate, and that was about ten years ago. And they appraised it at that point for, I believe, $25,000.
APPRAISER: Okay, well, actually this is a really rare example of Philadelphia highboy and it also has its original brasses which is great. It's incredibly intact. And if I were estimating this for auction I would put $40,000 to $60,000 on it.
GUEST: Wow, that's great.
APPRAISER: It's a great, great highboy.
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