Appraisal Video: (3:15)
GUEST: This has been in the family for years. Actually, it used to set on my back porch with one door missing on it.
APPRAISER: A covered porch, I hope.
GUEST: Yes, yes.
APPRAISER: Because it's in pretty good shape.
GUEST: And we thought about actually burning it one time.
APPRAISER: Why'd you think of burning it?
GUEST: Well, it set up there, you know. Old stuff, furniture, it gets kind of old, sets around a long time. You kick it around. You just want to chuck it away sometime.
APPRAISER: And you said the door was missing, right?
GUEST: Yes, we did have a door replaced.
APPRAISER: You had the door replaced.
GUEST: We thought it was made by Thomas Lincoln. That's what we're thinking.
APPRAISER: Okay, Thomas Lincoln. Now, Thomas Lincoln, of course, being Abraham Lincoln's father,
APPRAISER: who worked in the early 19th century in part, right here in Kentucky. He was a cabinetmaker, he was a carpenter, and there are a few cupboards that are known out there. But what I can tell you that you have is this large, I say, large corner cupboard. It's actually smaller than most. What do you use it for in your house?
GUEST: Well, actually, Mom kept toilet paper and a little snort of whiskey in there every now and then. And Dad's folded-up flag in there.
APPRAISER: Here in Kentucky in the early 19th century when this was made, somewhere between 1795 and 1830, cupboards were essential. You stored all sorts of provisions. And out in the country in central Kentucky, where this was probably made, they usually didn't have glass doors. They had these solid doors. And that would help keep the light out, to preserve things better. So if we start at the top, we have this arched cornice molding.
APPRAISER: A bold molding which you often see on Kentucky furniture. And this is one of my favorite parts. These arches, they're lightwood inlays which would have been done with a compass to make that incise line and cut a channel out to put that lightwood in. So, these arches are a really nice touch, and that cost a bit extra. Now let's come down a little bit, and you look at this cherry wood.
APPRAISER: A locally-grown wood. These are nice cherry wood doors with contrasting framing members. It's mortised and tented in, and here you can see the pin And you come down here to this lower section. We call this a "rope twist." See that inlay here?
APPRAISER: Now, you're missing a bit of it.
GUEST: Yeah, this side's gone.
APPRAISER: You see how some of it's gone there? And you're missing it on this side. But come down to the lower part, you also have these paneled doors and then this base with these bracket feet. Now while we're down here, let's open up this door. You've got the nice poplar wood in here. Now poplar, tulip poplar, it's a local wood. They use it a lot for secondary woods. And that's what the shelves are. That helps us put it in Kentucky. Now this is the door that you had replaced?
APPRAISER: The nice thing is it looks like he preserved the center panel. He made the new framing, but he reused that panel because it matches this panel.
APPRAISER: And all he did is re-chamfered a little bit. So let's shut it back up here. So, the nice thing about Kentucky furniture is that there are so many people down here that love to collect it.
APPRAISER: It has a great local interest. If this were a cupboard from New York, from up in New England, it really wouldn't be worth as much as it's worth in this market. So even with the condition issue here with that door, in a shop down here, retail, because it's small and because it's Kentucky, I'd say a reasonable price would be $8,500 even with that replaced door.
APPRAISER: So if you could prove that-- and some research needs to be done-- that it's by Thomas Lincoln...
GUEST: Right, right.
APPRAISER:...this could be worth a multiple of that, of course.
GUEST: Well, I sure do appreciate it.
APPRAISER: Kentucky furniture's hot. It really is. It's hot.