Irish Tea Table, ca. 1740
Appraised Value: $4,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:48)
GUEST: We bought it at an antique shop in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 25 to 30 years ago.
APPRAISER: What did you like about it when you saw it?
GUEST: Well, we just liked the finish, we liked the proportions... the curves... the legs... We liked that the little foot was different, and we later understood that it was a spade foot.
APPRAISER: Do you know what these are also called? We call them "slipper feet" in the trade, because they look like, you know, obviously, a little slipper foot. This line right here is from where a tray molding was applied-- like a concave molding-- and actually even over in here, you can see that it had a little cupid's bow in the corner. So it would have been raised up and applied, and that probably got lost over a hundred years ago. And that could have held things on, and if somebody went like this, at least the teacup wouldn't spill off it. And this tea table, which is what it is... I don't know if you knew what it was used for.
GUEST: We thought it was a tea table. We use it as an end table.
APPRAISER: It was made in Ireland, probably in the 1730s or the 1740s.
APPRAISER: Made in Ireland. Irish tables often have this nice bulged apron, with these "C" scrolls. Then you have that slipper foot, which really was popular all through Ireland. And when you flip this over-- I'm going to flip it over very carefully here-- you can see that the secondary wood, right here, is a deal-- it's a red pine. This type of pine, when it turns up over there, it's called "deal wood." It's a soft wood and it has knots in it, and also you see a lot of wormholes?
APPRAISER: All those things are things we see on Irish tables, okay? This is mahogany, and most of the Irish ones are mahogany or some are walnut. The American ones were black walnut, usually, or cherry with yellow pine and poplar secondary woods. And those are incredibly rare. What did you pay? Do you remember?
GUEST: We paid maybe around 1,800 for it. 1,800 a while ago.
APPRAISER: That's quite a lot of money back then.
GUEST: Yes, it was a lot. It was a big decision.
APPRAISER: But you just liked it.
GUEST: We just liked it.
APPRAISER: Today, a table like this with this tray molding missing is probably worth $4,000. If you actually had a nice new molding put on and you could get the design, it would look a lot nicer and probably in somebody's shop, it would probably be worth 6,500 or 7,000.
APPRAISER: It would just look nicer. It would give some definition to that edge, and your cognac wouldn't spill off it, okay?
GUEST: I like that idea.
APPRAISER: Now, if this were an American table made in Virginia, in the lower Rappahannock Basin... okay, the American version of this that they made here by Irish immigrants in the 1750s in Virginia, it would be worth probably about 200,000, 250,000.
GUEST: It really would?
APPRAISER: Yeah. Because those are so rare.
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