American Mahogany Liquor Case, ca. 1800
Appraised Value: $8,000 - $10,000 (1998)
$10,000 - $15,000 (2011)
IMAGE: 1 of 5
Appraisal Video: (2:18)
Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Musical Instruments
Ken Farmer Auctions, LLC
GUEST: I inherited it from my aunt and uncle recently. He was a collector from New York City and Philadelphia and that area for years.
APPRAISER: And what did he tell you about this box?
GUEST: Well, I never actually talked to him. I had papers that he had written in his journal.
GUEST: I never talked to him, and I had thrown those papers away and a friend of mine told me to go get them and read them, and so I did, and I found out about this box. And I tried to give her the box and everybody the box, and nobody would take my box, so I kept it. And so here I am today.
APPRAISER: What this is... This is a mahogany traveling liquor case or cellarette-- whatever you want to call it-- and according to the information that you gave me, your uncle figured out that this belonged to Captain Thomas Truxton, who served as a captain on the Constellation, which was launched out of Baltimore in 1797.
APPRAISER: That gives you one thing right off the bat that everybody looks for: provenance. We have so many objects that are anonymous. But this gets even more interesting because it's mahogany, it has yellow pine in the secondary woods, which tells me that it's mid-Atlantic, and the style of the inlay is by a cabinetmaker named John Shaw, who worked out of Annapolis. It's very possible that it's John Shaw. It has six of the original eight bottles, has wonderful condition, has the original tray with the gilt highlight that came with it. And I think it's possible that the mirror in the back might have been done by the Stiegel company-- very nicely engraved and decorated. Now, you say you tried to give this away?
GUEST: Yes, I tried to give it to my friend Anne, and she said, "No, you'd better keep that, Judy." And I said, "Okay." Then I tried to give it to my kids, they didn't want it, so I kept it.
APPRAISER: I'll tell you one thing, she is a good friend, because if you sold this at auction, I would say without a doubt that it would probably bring $8,000 to $10,000.
GUEST: Yes! Yes! (laughs)
APPRAISER: What are you going to do with all that money?
GUEST: Oh, gosh, I'm gonna pay Dillard's off.
APPRAISER: You can pay off your department store bill.
GUEST: Yes, that's what I'm going to do. Eight to ten, are you serious?
APPRAISER: Oh, yeah.
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