1929 Berkey & Gay “Old Ironsides” Table

Value (2005) | $1,000 Auction$1,500 Auction

GUEST:
Well, this table was left me by my great-aunt Elizabeth.

APPRAISER:
It's an interesting table, and you know a lot of the information on it...

GUEST:
Yes, I do.

APPRAISER:
But, uh, it was made by Berkey & Gay, which was a furniture company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They were founded in the mid part of the 19th century and lasted to the mid part of the 20th century, nearly 100 years, which is quite a run for a furniture company. So in 1929, they did restoration to the "Old Ironsides." Berkey & Gay bought planks off the deck, and then they carved it into the eagle that you'll see here on the front drawer. This is the only thing that was from the USS Constitution. And you could see that they just carved these little eagles and applied them over the top of this. It was a limited-edition run. They made 100 of these tables, and each was provided with a tag that identified the table and the materials that were used in its construction. Berkey & Gay then, as was customary in the 20th century, put their little medallion in the drawer, which you can see right here. They produced three medallions during the 20th century. This one dates from 1929 to 1945, which was the end of their production. In terms of preserving it, it's not a terribly old piece. Not really even an antique, by its true definition of 100 years.

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
And so it's still in quite good condition. Keep it out of direct sunlight and keep it clean, and that's basically all you have to worry about.

GUEST:
Should I have this refinished here, this top?

APPRAISER:
Don't refinish the top.

GUEST:
Don't touch it?

APPRAISER:
There's conservators that can remove this. I'm not sure what exactly this is.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
In terms of value, it's not a terribly expensive piece. If you went to auction with it, I think it would expect to sell between $1,000 to $1,500. Something like that.

GUEST:
Okay. All right.

APPRAISER:
A neat piece of Americana, and I sure appreciate you bringing it in.

GUEST:
Thank you very much.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Witherell's
Sacramento, California
Appraised value (2005)
$1,000 Auction$1,500 Auction
Event
Bismarck, ND (July 30, 2005)
Period
20th Century
Form
Table
Material
Wood

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