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    Chippendale Walnut Tall Chest, ca. 1790

    Appraised Value:

    $30,000 - $50,000

    Appraised on: July 19, 2008

    Appraised in: Chattanooga, Tennessee

    Appraised by: John Hays

    Category: Furniture

    Episode Info: Chattanooga, Hour 3 (#1312)

    Originally Aired: April 13, 2009

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Chest of drawers
    Material: Walnut, Poplar, Metal
    Period / Style: 18th Century
    Value Range: $30,000 - $50,000

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    Appraisal Video: (3:03)


    Appraised By:

    John Hays
    Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Paintings & Drawings, Silver
    Deputy Chairman

    Appraisal Transcript:

    GUEST: My mother said that it had been in my father's family many, many, many years.

    APPRAISER: And where was your, uh, father's family from?

    GUEST: My father's family was from Connecticut. I don't know how old it is, but we think my great-great-great-great- great-great-grandfather was Roger Sherman, who was one of the framers of the Declaration of Independence. So, I don't know if it's that old. That's what I'm hoping you will tell me.

    APPRAISER: From Connecticut?

    GUEST: Yes, yes.

    APPRAISER: And, uh, is anybody in your family from Pennsylvania or from Philadelphia?

    GUEST: Well, my mother's family is all from the Philadelphia area,

    APPRAISER: Okay.

    GUEST: but she said that this had been in my father's family, but my son-in-law, Tommy, said that it was a Pennsylvania... uh, a Chester County chest, maybe, is what he said.

    APPRAISER: Okay. Well, you should always listen to your son-in-law. I'll tell you a little bit about the piece. It is, in fact, a piece of furniture that we call a Chippendale tall chest and drawers. And it has all the characteristics of an 18th century Pennsylvania-made piece. It has these five drawers at the top, and then these graduated four drawers. They have these lemon-shaped pins that go through the divider. It has the tulip inlay on this drawer here. It's made in black walnut, which was the wood of choice in Pennsylvania. And it's made so vigorously and strong that the Pennsylvania Germans that made these pieces... they had emigrated into America, and they made tall chests like this to last. And what I think is so interesting... I'm just going to pull this out, and I'll show you there's a little secret Quaker lock here, which I think you probably know about. I do know about that. And out comes that drawer. And the secondary wood is made of poplar. And look at these big, thick drawer sides. This was made to last. And... I know it's very heavy. (chuckling) And it's a... it's a monumental piece. And it's just such a... a pleasure to see it. You have your crossbanded whitewood here. And then, if you look at the feet, these gorgeous, great big feet with the dovetailed construction on the corners. That is the way the Pennsylvania Germans made their furniture. Condition matters when you look at furniture, and in this case, the hardware is replaced. They are Colonial Revival, is what we call them. They were probably put on about 100 years ago. Do you have any idea what it might be worth?

    GUEST: Well, I do know that... an antique dealer here offered Mother... I think it was $27,000 back in 19... like, late '50s, early '60s, somewhere in there. Well, that's a lot of money, $27,000.

    APPRAISER: Today, it's probably worth at least $30,000 to $50,000 at auction.

    GUEST: Is it really? Well, what she said was, "Keep it in the family."

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