1778 Chippendale Miniature Walnut Chest
Appraised Value: $50,000 - $60,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (-1:48:15)
GUEST: Shortly after I married my ex-husband, we went to visit his family in Maryland. And while there on the visit I was down in the basement for some reason, and I saw this chest. Just sitting in the basement, okay. Sitting in the basement with tools in it. And I really liked it.
GUEST: And so I asked my ex-husband's grandmother Nana if I could have it. And she said, "Take it home." So I went home on the airplane with it sitting in my lap.
APPRAISER: That's great. Well, you got my attention when you brought this chest in today. It's a wonderful thing. I don't have to tell you when it was made, because you saw that date when you were in that basement, right?
APPRAISER: And what you brought is this wonderful small Chippendale chest. And you were mentioning that your aunt thought it was a salesman's sample?
GUEST: Nana thought it was a salesman's... That's what she told me it was, it was a salesman's sample.
APPRAISER: I think it would have actually been made for a fairly wealthy, a well-to-do family in Maryland. It has Maryland characteristics. It's a Maryland Chippendale piece. The person it was made for would have been "BF." We don't know who that is. The chest was made of local walnut, which would have been found in Virginia or possibly right there in Maryland. And it has these wonderful little knobs. And down here you have these Queen Anne brasses with these pulls which have been added later. The front has this lovely fan inlay of lighter wood, and then the feet are wonderful. Those feet are big Chippendale feet. Big brackets. And we take a drawer out, on the inside we see that it's made of poplar. The color's really nice here, where it's protected from the air, and it has nice oxidation on the back where the air snuck through the back.
APPRAISER: Now, the last thing I want to do is to show you that this top does come off. There's a mahogany top on here. And I mentioned to you that I... I asked you if I could take it off. I'm going to take it off carefully. Let's see if we can get it up. If you can hold that side... This was added later, this top.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: It's not original. And now you can see this nice molding, and you can even see some glass rings on top where people set a drink.
APPRAISER: So you found this in the basement. You had a great eye noticing it. The retail value on this would be-- and I'm being conservative, to tell you the truth-- would be $50,000.
GUEST: You kidding me?
APPRAISER: I'm not kidding you.
GUEST: Oh, that's wonderful.
APPRAISER: And I'm being conservative at the $50,000. I could easily even say upwards of $60,000. So...
APPRAISER: Retail, yes. Retail price.
APPRAISER: You want to kiss me now or later? (both laughing)
GUEST: Now and later.
APPRAISER: Okay, and later, all right. Thank you very much, Carol.
GUEST: Thank you!
APPRAISER: You made my day.
GUEST: Oh, you made mine. Wow! I can't believe that.
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