Ellis-Stickley Music Cabinet, ca. 1903
Appraised Value: $80,000 - $100,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:01)
Rago Arts & Auction Center
GUEST: We purchased a summer cottage in 1975 from my wife's aunt and uncle, part of which was included was all the furnishings-- furniture, beds and kitchen utensils, the whole thing. And this was one of the items that was in the cottage at the time. And recently, my sister and my brother-in-law came and visited, and my brother-in-law's kind of a master carpenter, I call him, and he was taken by the lovely engraving there, whatever you call it. And we looked in the back and saw that it had a stamp on it, so we found out that it was a Stickley, so that's what we know about it.
APPRAISER: This piece is a very exciting piece of furniture. It was done by Gustav Stickley. It's a very early Gustav Stickley stamp, about 1903, 1904, right in there. But what's really interesting about this piece of furniture, what really is exciting about this piece of furniture, is the fact that it was designed by Harvey Ellis. And Harvey Ellis only worked for Gustav Stickley for about seven or eight months. He died in 1904, and this is one of the pieces that he produced. It has everything going on with it that you would like in a piece of Gustav Stickley- Harvey Ellis furniture. It has this great inlay on the front. It's made out of pewter, copper, fruitwood. It has an arched toeboard. It's got an extra long top. It's also very tall. This was built outside of Syracuse, New York, and it's a music cabinet. And what it was used for, obviously, is to keep sheet music in. You just don't see this stuff very often. It's beautiful, it's rare, but what's really amazing about this piece is its condition. I've seen a number of Harvey Ellis pieces in my life, but the condition of this one is just immaculate. The finish is original. It's got this rich, dark, wonderful gloss to it, just like it was supposed to. As far as furniture goes, especially from the early part of the 20th century, this is about as good as it gets. It's a wonderful example of the Arts and Crafts movement of America. And as far as value goes, at auction, this piece is worth probably $80,000 to $100,000.
GUEST: $80,000 to $100,000?
APPRAISER: Absolutely. Absolutely. It's a great piece of furniture.
GUEST: Why... why is that? It's because it's rare?
APPRAISER: It's very rare. We get a lot of Gustav Stickley at the show, but a piece of Harvey Ellis-- especially in the condition that this one's in-- is just really rare to get. So what did you pay for your cabin in Michigan?
GUEST: $27,000 and then $1,000 for all the furnishings.
APPRAISER: So you paid $28,000 for everything all together. This piece is probably worth three, four times what you paid for the cabin and everything in it.
GUEST: That's amazing.
APPRAISER: When you turned this around, I about fell over. I thought, "Oh, my God, that's a piece of Harvey Ellis."
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