Billy Haines Dining Table, ca. 1953

Value (2008) | $15,000 Retail$17,000 Retail

GUEST:
When I purchased my mid-century modern house about seven years ago, the owner said, "Would you like to also purchase this dining room table, which was originally commissioned for the home?"

APPRAISER:
What's the period of the home?

GUEST:
The home was built in 1953.

APPRAISER:
1953.

GUEST:
Correct.

APPRAISER:
Did she give you a price for it, separate from the house, or what happened?

GUEST:
For the dining room table, and a coffee table, which is very similar, was $1,500.

APPRAISER:
$1,500 for the two of them?

GUEST:
Correct.

APPRAISER:
Okay. And how long ago was that?

GUEST:
Eight years ago.

APPRAISER:
Now, did you know you were getting something special then, or what?

GUEST:
Well, I really liked the design of it, and it fits perfectly in this narrow dining room in the house.

APPRAISER:
Yes.

GUEST:
So of course I wanted it.

APPRAISER:
Right.

GUEST:
She mentioned it was by William Haines, who I knew very little about at the time, but subsequently, through a little bit of research, I found out he's quite a famous designer.

APPRAISER:
They call him Billy in the trade.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Billy Haines has become really, really hot, and pieces like this have become really, really desirable. I don't know if you know this, but it all started-- the interest in Billy Haines' furniture-- in 1990 when David Geffen, the big Hollywood mogul, had bought Jack Warner's house.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
A really big, early era film producer, and it was filled with Billy Haines furniture.

GUEST:
I had no idea.

APPRAISER:
And he just decided to get it out, and those things trickled out into the marketplace, and pretty soon, people said, "Well, what is this Billy Haines stuff?"

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Custom pieces made for Frank Sinatra, Joan Crawford. It's really, really hot, and it's getting hotter, because there's this tremendous interest in mid-century furniture, especially furniture from the '50s onward right now. The 1950s, the 1960s and up. The reason I love 1950s, that period, is that they were using a lot of these tubular legs, and his pieces generally had that Hollywood glamour, and he was known for that Regency style from the 1940s. And by the fifties, he was really over that really heavy look. So, here you have these tubular legs. They're solid brass. And they have this black paint. And you haven't touched any of it, which is so wonderful.

GUEST:
It's very unique. All the angles are constantly shifting with the light during the day.

APPRAISER:
It's basically ebony veneer on top here, which is so elegant, and looking at the edge of this, with these brass bands, with the kind of a large button-- all of that just really, really works. I would say that because of its nice narrow width, because of the presence that it has-- it has this great presence-- and because it's in original condition... You haven't...

GUEST:
It hasn't been repainted, cleaned up, or any of that.

APPRAISER:
That this in a retail shop could be easily probably $17,000.

GUEST:
Great.

APPRAISER:
$15,000 to $17,000.

GUEST:
Fantastic.

APPRAISER:
So you probably have... You have at least a ten time return on your money, right?

GUEST:
Fantastic.

APPRAISER:
Thank you so much.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Keno Auctions
New York, NY
Appraised value (2008)
$15,000 Retail$17,000 Retail
Event
Dallas, TX (June 28, 2008)
Form
Table
Material
Brass, Metal, Paint, Wood

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