Early 19th Century Sugar chest
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (1:37)
GUEST: I brought what I think is a sugar chest that belongs to my husband. He inherited it when his grandmother died in about 1992, and this had been in her family for several generations. I think I've traced back 11 generations since it was brought.
APPRAISER: That's amazing, 11 generations. What's really interesting about this is, as you mention, you've got a great family history. You've got this wonderful inscription that says, "This box was brought from South Carolina by A.B. Ross, my grandfather, in 1804." 1790 to 1810 is when they were typically made, so the inscription of 1804 seems to work out just perfect. And this gives the name of one of your relatives. John Ross, whose dates are about 1825 to 1898, if I'm not mistaken.
GUEST: Yes, yes.
APPRAISER: And he's the one that's responsible for the inscription, correct?
APPRAISER: What we have here is a sugar chest. There's three compartments which they would have stored different types of sugar in each section. And you'll notice here, there's a lock. It was a valuable commodity in the early 19th century, so this chest would have been locked so the help couldn't get to the sugar. Based on the turnings on the leg, we believe it to be from eastern Tennessee. It's got a wonderful surface. The lid does have some repairs. If you look on the back side, it looks like the hinges have been changed out and you may have some replaced moldings, but all in all, it's a wonderful, rare survival. In today's market, at auction, we'd probably comfortably say $5,000 to $8,000.
GUEST: We had no earthly idea.
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