Pennsylvania Tramp Art Dresser
Appraised Value: $6,000 - $8,000 (2007)
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:12)
Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Musical Instruments
Ken Farmer Auctions, LLC
GUEST: This piece is about a hundred years old, and it was made by my grandfather, who was a self-taught carpenter and almost illiterate. So, I'm very proud of the fact that he made this, and it's now in my possession. It's Tramp work, and it's made from cigar boxes. My grandfather sat beside his wife while she was recuperating, and with a penknife, carved all these little tiny pieces.
APPRAISER: So, when this was made, where was your family living?
GUEST: They were living in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania.
APPRAISER: Tramp art was home industry. And everybody assumes that these were made out of cigar boxes. And I think part of them could have been made out of cigar boxes, but you know as well as I do, there are some pieces in here that are bigger than what a cigar box would be.
GUEST: Oh, yes.
APPRAISER: I think what they really looked for was a wood that was kind of soft and easy to carve. I think he did this to show his skill at lamination, and it alternates maple and walnut here. And what he did was, he took a strip, the same width and depth all the way across, and glued them together, and then he cut it to fit this and put this scallop in the front.
APPRAISER: And the thing that I love the most about this is, it was a labor of love for him. When I first walked up to it, the first thing I noticed were the hearts at the top of each mirror.
GUEST: You noticed the hearts?
APPRAISER: 'Cause he made it for his sweetie, and something you almost never see is decoration on the bottom like that. He's paid a lot of attention to detail.
APPRAISER: Would you be surprised if I told you that this is worth $6,000 to $8,000?
GUEST: Yes. (laughs) Yes, I would be very surprised.
APPRAISER: Well, that's the case.
GUEST: Well, it's going to stay in the family. I'll never sell it.
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