Egyptian Revival Folk Art Library Table, ca. 1922

Value (2008) | $8,500 Retail

My mother-in-law was an antique dealer. She purchased the table... (sighs) I cannot tell you how many years ago-- I have no clue-- somewhere in, uh, South Texas or East Texas, and she said she purchased it from an elderly woman whose husband was a sea captain. And the story she told my mother-in-law said that the table dated-- and I don't remember what she told me-- either the American Revolution or the Civil War. And she said the stains on the side are from whiskey, when they used it-- it's a gaming table. And we've had it 27 years.

Uh-huh. I think this is more likely a library table. Game tables have a tendency to be square. I would describe this as an Egyptian Revival table, and the reason being is that it has these wonderful pyramid bases, and it has heads of King Tut on it.

Oh, really? Oh, is that what that? Okay.

Yes. So we see the inlaid head of Tut, and then this wonderful sort of squared inlaid decoration, as well. So, the Egyptian Revival... it can be three time periods: It can be early 19th century-- we see a lot of decorative arts with Egyptian motifs on them. And then, in the late 19th century, it happens again. And then again, in the 1920s, there's another Egyptian Revival. And that's when King Tut's tomb is opened up and the whole world becomes mesmerized by these fantastic artifacts that are coming out of the, uh, Boy King's tomb-- King Tutankhamen. I think this table is from the 1920s. The craftsmanship on it is not as fine as I would expect to see on a table from the early 19th century. I think it's an American piece. One of the reasons I would say that is the woods in it-- there's mahogany. We have a lot of mahogany that we trade within this country. There's an oak, and there's also walnut. The person who made this understood... construction, but they were not trained as a furniture maker. They were more likely a carpenter. The other aspect, obviously, is this wonderful pyramid effect. There's a central pyramid, and then two side pyramids split as the supports, and then these great paw feet at the bottom, just like the Sphinx would have had. Let's turn it around and look at the other heads here. And you notice the eyes. They're glass, and they're probably taxidermy eyes. They're quite bright, and they really glow at you. I would say that a table like this, if I saw it in a shop, I would expect to pay around $8,500 for it.

Oh, that's great.

Appraisal Details

Skinner, Inc.
Boston, MA
Appraised value (2008)
$8,500 Retail
Dallas, TX (June 28, 2008)
Glass , Wood

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.