Appraisal Video: (4:03)
APPRAISER: You just brought this right from your dining room, right?
GUEST:Yes, I did.
APPRAISER: Okay. What are you using it for?
GUEST: Well, I store tablecloths in this side.
APPRAISER: Tablecloths over there, all right.
GUEST: And I store candles in the middle, and then I put serving pieces in the drawer.
APPRAISER: So you're using it...
GUEST: Every day. It's a good storage piece.
APPRAISER: And you know it's a sideboard, right? You've heard that?
APPRAISER: The form itself started out in England in the mid-18th century when Robert Adam and designers were designing these sideboard tables, which are basically like a big slab with marble or wood and then they had legs. And then towards the end of the 18th century over in England, they started adding drawers. These became like the nerve center in the dining room for everything having to do with eating. And this is back in a time when you had servants in these big country houses in England. So this piece, made in around probably 1785 to 1800...
APPRAISER: Yeah. In the late Hepplewhite, early Regency style would have had over here... I'm going to step over. This over here, when you open this up... You said you keep your tablecloths there. This would have had probably some silverware. They also even had a lead tray they used to rinse glasses in. Can you imagine rinsing your glasses in water with lead-- lead trays? And then they'd have drainage underneath. Now, in the middle, right here, this is where they kept the tablecloths.
APPRAISER: Now, did you put this fitting in?
GUEST: No, it was in there when I bought it.
APPRAISER: Well, this works nice now for silverware or for the candles, but they actually often stacked the linen in here. And you know why they did the hollow front?
APPRAISER: Because this thing's over six feet long, okay, and it made it look a little smaller. Also, one servant could step out of the way into here while the other servants went back and forth. Now, this drawer over here-- this was where the libation was kept. Now, you don't keep any Madeira or wine...
GUEST (laughing): No.
APPRAISER: The bottom on this-- now, I don't know if you know this-- was replaced.
GUEST: No, I didn't know that.
APPRAISER: And probably the reason it's replaced is at one time this probably had, you know, bottles of Madeira or wine and it could have fallen through. So you have a replaced bottom. This is almost like a plywood. Here we can tell why it's an English late-18th-century sideboard. These really fine dovetails, which you also see in America, but the oak... See that wood? Did you know that was oak?
GUEST: I did.
APPRAISER: And that's one giveaway that this is an English sideboard. When this sideboard was ordered in the 1780s in England, they ordered all the bells and whistles.
GUEST: Oh, well, good.
APPRAISER: You've got on this wonderful, functional piece for the dining room satinwood banding... figured mahogany here. That's all wonderful mahogany. Now, coming down here, this is a set-in satinwood with satinwood sand-burnt paterae right here. Did you see these bellflowers down here? They're just beautiful, and that all costs extra. Coming down here... Look at this. Beautiful satinwood down here and these brass toe caps. Now, these are nice.
GUEST: I have a story on those. When the interior designer picked it out in Chicago in the warehouse... That's where it came from. And he saw it had all of the brass caps on the feet. And when they brought it to the front, it was missing one brass cap. So, he pulled a $50 bill out of his pocket and said to the boy that brought it up, "I bet you can find that other cap." The $50 made him go back. He got it.
APPRAISER: And all the way around the side on your end and down here, all that decoration is on the side, too. So, it's got everything going for it, even the Birmingham pulls, the original pulls, which would have been made in Birmingham, England.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: Do you remember what you paid, or...
GUEST: I paid $1,900.
APPRAISER: You paid $1,900. When was that?
APPRAISER: That was a good amount of money, probably.
GUEST: It was.
APPRAISER: Have you had an idea since? This could be insured pretty easily for $20,000.
GUEST: Good heavens!
APPRAISER: So you did okay.
GUEST: Did good, yeah.