China Trade Davenport, ca. 1850

Value (2008) | $6,000 Auction$9,000 Auction

GUEST:
My wife bought it at a flea market, and she passed away four years ago. And, uh, we've had it for about 15 years.

APPRAISER:
Well, this is a davenport, which is a type of desk. It's actually China Trade Furniture. It was made in Canton, China for the Western market. Now they started making China Trade Furniture in the 18th century, and at that point, they were using European motifs. This is in the 19th century. Dates to about 1830 to 1860. At that point, they started using Chinese subjects, and that's what you have here. The dragon, the Chinese figures. This condition is unretouched.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And I think it's the same condition that it was made in. It was never refinished. It's Chinese rosewood, and the finish on Chinese rosewood is permanent. You never have to touch it.

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
All it needs is waxing. And I'd recommend paste wax. It needs nourishment. It's very dry. It has a lot of dust on it. Now, it's got all kinds of nooks and crannies. Down here, for example-- this opens up. And you have drawers. Over here, there's a little shelf. And this shows you the quality of the rosewood. This was the finest Chinese rosewood. And we can open it up. And here you have pigeonholes.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Where they would put papers. This was made for a gentleman's study. Now, we're missing over here one panel. That's unfortunate, but these things happen. And you're missing a pad here.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
This would have been... In the West, they used leather. In China, they used felt. So that felt pad is missing. And otherwise, it's all complete. And it's as good a quality carving as was ever made for China Trade Furniture. It's first quality carving.

GUEST:
Your wife paid how much for it?

APPRAISER:
$150.

GUEST:
$150?

APPRAISER:
Yeah. Well, China Trade Furniture is very popular now. It's being recognized, and there's very little of it. This is extremely rare. On an auction market today, this would bring anywhere between $6,000 and $9,000.

GUEST:
I'm impressed.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Marvin Sokolow Antiques
Bayside, WI
Appraised value (2008)
$6,000 Auction$9,000 Auction
Event
Chattanooga, TN (July 19, 2008)
Period
19th Century
Form
Desk
Material
Rosewood

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