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    Mennonite Cabinet, ca. 1890

    Appraised Value:


    Appraised on: July 10, 2004

    Appraised in: Omaha, Nebraska

    Appraised by: Brian Witherell

    Category: Furniture

    Episode Info: Omaha, Hour 2 (#905)

    Originally Aired: January 31, 2005

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Cabinet
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $8,000

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    Appraisal Video: (2:19)


    Appraised By:

    Brian Witherell


    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: We acquired it from a gentleman who bought it at an estate auction in the Midwest here, and we thought it had something about it that was maybe a little more than just a painted cupboard, and, uh, through a little research, we decided that we think it's a Mennonite cupboard, and that's about all we know about it.

    APPRAISER: Okay, how much did you pay?

    GUEST: $1,850.

    APPRAISER: So you bought it from a dealer who'd bought it at auction.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: Well, first of all, it just reeks American folk art and that's just collected by millions of people. The fact that it does resemble Mennonite furniture, particularly furniture manufactured here in Nebraska, makes it more intriguing. A few things about it that stand out to me. Uh, first of all, its overall eclecticism of 19th-century ornamentation and decoration. It's consistent with Victorian style, and, again, all of the finishes. Particularly that makes it look late 19th century is the crest which comes down to this molding with a variety of different finishes throughout. You can see the authenticity of this piece when we open up this cabinet door, and you see the brightness of the faux finish along here that hasn't been exposed to air. We call this "sponge painting," typically, but it really wasn't done with a sponge. It was done with a rag, and you can see the front ornamentation. They would just take a rag and dip it in... in the paint and then just sort of rub it around also with brushes, which you can see here. This is faux-painted almost to look like a Douglas fir. It's interesting to see on the back of this, he cleaned his brush to clear it off, which was kind of interesting, so... mean, it's just such an authentic piece, you know. It hasn't been altered or changed in any way. It's consistent with Mennonite furniture that is documented. We don't see a lot of it. It's going to date from late 19th century-- 1875, 1900, something like that. I think in terms of, uh, value, at least for insurance purposes, I would probably put $8,000 on it.

    GUEST: Oh, that's very good. That's good. We just love it. It's been in a place in our dining room for about 11 years now.

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