American Mahogany Card Table, ca. 1815
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $5,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:00)
Senior Vice President & Director, American Furniture and Decorative Arts
GUEST: It was in my husband's family. And, from what I understand, my husband had an aunt that was married to a family out of Boston. He was a sea captain, and this is where the table came from was through that family.
APPRAISER: Well, do you know what this table was used for back when it was made?
GUEST: Well, I assumed it was a card table.
APPRAISER: Exactly. Exactly. Well, you brought in this carved-figured, mahogany, flip-top games table, and I'm just going to flip the top here, and pull out this-- carefully pull out-- this leg, which swings out to reveal the playing surface. And, back in the early 19th century-- about 1815, when this was made-- card playing was a very popular pastime. It was sort of the home entertainment center of the early 19th century in America. They played games like whist, a game called "loo," which is L-O-O, and the game called twenty-one.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: And these were also status symbols in the early 19th century. They're pretty expensive. Now, do you know who may have made this table?
GUEST: I have no idea.
APPRAISER: You mentioned Boston area. This table is attributed to being made right in that area-- actually, in Salem-- not very far away, right on the coast. This is from the school of Samuel Field McIntire. Samuel Field McIntire's father-- Samuel McIntire-- was known as the man who built Salem. He was a famous architect. Now, Samuel Field McIntire was a very famous cabinetmaker, but he also had some competitors who worked in his style around the same time. So this could either be Samuel Field McIntire or one of his competitors.
APPRAISER: Okay. This table has all the attributes of a Salem, Samuel Field McIntire school. And they are, if we look at this front, this undulating profile. Look at the drama in the profile.
GUEST: Oh, yeah.
APPRAISER: This carving is classic, classic Salem, Massachusetts. We've got this star-punching. You see those little star punches?
APPRAISER: Which show up on many pieces of documented Salem work. These acanthus leaves are classic Salem, as are the reeded legs. And what I love about this table is the fact that the wood in the front is book-matched. You've got matched panels cut from the same flitch of wood, and that carried around the side. So I'm going to turn this a little bit. You see the seam? So, visually, it brought the table together. And they even did that on the top, which is, I think, pretty special. You have this board with a bull's-eye here, and the same bull's-eye here. So they're cut from the same flitch. It's beautiful quality, and you've been taking good care of it, I have to tell you.
GUEST: Oh, thank you.
APPRAISER: If I were to put an auction estimate on this, I would put it in a range-- a presale range-- of $3,000 to $5,000.
GUEST: Oh, wow! Very nice. Very nice. Yes. Yes.
APPRAISER: Thank you for bringing it.
GUEST: Oh, you're welcome. Thank you for appraising it.
APPRAISER: I was delighted.
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