Marquetry Coat Rack, ca. 1940
Appraised Value: $1,800 (1999)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (1:44)
APPRAISER: It's nice to come here to Toronto to see a coat rack that's not just any coat rack. This is a special coat rack.
GUEST: Yes, it is.
APPRAISER: And you have a picture of...
GUEST: My uncle, St. Pierre. And he did quite a few pieces.
APPRAISER: This is a picture of Mr. St. Pierre around 1949. Now, I read that your uncle used everything from cigar boxes to orange crates, to parts of an old piano to make these objects.
GUEST: That's right.
APPRAISER: So all these parts have been cut out-- these contrasting woods. Here we have a zigzag pattern with a herringbone- type edge. We come down to triangles and this chevron pattern and this amazingly intricate series of rectangles and cubes. It just... it's incredible the time that he spent.
GUEST: There's 10,100 pieces in this coat rack.
APPRAISER: Isn't it incredible?
GUEST: And I find this fascinating.
APPRAISER: And he did how many a day?
GUEST: About 150 pieces.
APPRAISER: Now, you told me that earlier.
GUEST: Now, this was only on his off time.
APPRAISER: Okay, and I figured that out. That means it took 67 days solid, not watching TV at all...
APPRAISER: Just working to make that.
APPRAISER: That's amazing.
GUEST: But he did work on the side so probably a little longer even.
APPRAISER: Wow. This is made in a folk tradition...
APPRAISER: And it's been called "quilting for men" or "man's quilting." Well, it's a fascinating piece and I think it's part of an important tradition of folk art. And value-wise, because it's so work-intensive and because there was an exhibition last year in New York about this type of work...
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: Yeah, at the Museum of American Folk Art. That has heightened the interest in this type of thing. And a retail value on this-- retail would be about $1,800 or so...
GUEST: All right, okay.
APPRAISER: And maybe even a little more.
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