Empire Desk & Bookcase, ca. 1840
Appraised Value: $10,000 - $15,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:16)
Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Paintings & Drawings, Silver
GUEST: It comes from a small town southeast of Cleveland, which is Millfield, Ohio. In 1799, our family settled there. My mother said they settled in the only area that was bad for farming, but they were merchants. This came down through the family, and when I saw it, I was a little girl at my great-grandmother's house. And in 1965, when she died at 101, it went to my mother, and then when she died in '75, it came to me.
APPRAISER: So it was also filled with photographs of your family, and I took one out-- one of the many pictures-- and I'll just set it down here. And here you have your family gathered around the fireplace sometime in the late 19th century. And this is your...
GUEST: My great-grandmother. And then on the other side is my Aunt Agnes, and then, of course, the dog I know, Monty. Monty, in the middle there.
APPRAISER: Well, one of the exciting things about the ROADSHOW is that we see regional pieces of furniture all over the country, and this, of course, is a classic Ohio-made piece of furniture. And one of the distinctive features of Ohio furniture is the use of contrasting woods. You see this wonderful cherrywood and maple. And if you look down the front of it, you'll see a bow drawer, mahogany knobs, a flat drawer with a beveled edge, and then this flat drawer here, and then these scrolled feet. The piece was made in 1840. Now, this piece was, in fact, refinished.
GUEST: I know my mother sent it somewhere to have it redone, and I don't know if she had it refinished or refurbished.
APPRAISER: What's important is the cabinetmaker's intent was to have this beautiful contrasting array of woods. I think it now looks the way it would have looked in 1840 when it was made.
APPRAISER: Now, because of the direct line of descent in your family and because of the significance to Ohio furniture making, we would appraise this piece in the neighborhood of $10,000 to $15,000.
GUEST: Oh, thank you. Thank you. That's great.
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