Windsor Chair & Passport, ca. 1815

Value (2014) | $3,000 Auction$4,000 Auction
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GUEST:
My father's family is originally from Newburyport, Massachusetts, and this document is my great-great-great-grandfather's. He was a man of color living in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and this document allowed him to travel to the South, where he had relatives. It's dated 1815. And my father passed that down to us, so we treasure it. And this we call the grandfather's chair.

APPRAISER:
Yes.

GUEST:
Now, we're not sure which grandfather. We know it was my father's grandfather, but if it was his father... we don't know. There are various dates under here: 1850-something, 17-something... We just always sat in it. You can see the bottom is quite worn.

APPRAISER:
And you sat on this chair?

GUEST:
I sat on this chair, my father sat on this chair, probably his father as well. You can see it's taken quite a beating.

APPRAISER:
It's a great heirloom. This is a passport.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
It's a very straightforward document, and as we see, it's from Essex, town of Newburyport. It's notarized by a man called Woart, W-O-A-R-T. And he is justice of the peace. It's got his seal.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
And signature. And, as you said, the date of 1815. It's suffered a little bit of bloom and damage, a couple of holes here, but essentially, it's a great historical item.

GUEST:
We think so.

APPRAISER:
Here you have the respect given to a man of color in the North in 1815. It's very early. And the other interesting thing is, we have crossover here.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
And yes indeed, this is an absolutely genuine Massachusetts-made Windsor chair.

GUEST:
It is? Oh, my goodness.

APPRAISER:
And as you've said, it's got some repair. It's had its feet cut down, but it is a child's chair.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
At auction, the whole package is worth $2,000 to $3,000.

GUEST:
Okay, all right.

APPRAISER:
But obviously, it is of tremendous family significance.

GUEST:
Well, we treasure both items, and this chair has... A lot of bottoms have sat on it and we love it and hope to just keep passing it down.

APPRAISER:
Yes.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Bloomsbury Auctions
London, England
Value Update (2014)
$3,000 Auction$4,000 Auction
Appraised value (2007)
$2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
Event
Las Vegas, NV (August 18, 2007)
Period
19th Century
Form
Chair, Document
Material
Paper, Wood

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