Folk Marquetry Games Table, ca. 1925

Value (2009) | $6,000 Retail$8,000 Retail

I was in Denver, visiting my daughter and her family. My son-in-law likes to go out and find things at garage sales and estate sales, and he was showing me some items that he had purchased, this table being one of them, and I was particularly interested in this table because of the detail and the uniqueness of it. He agreed to sell it to me. He needed the money. (laughs)

Okay. That's always a good reason to sell. Now, did you dicker with him at all?

I tried dickering with him. He didn't want to part with it very bad, but he finally agreed to, and as best I can recollect, he paid $100 to $150.

And you gave him how much?

I gave him $500.

So he took a profit when you gave him $500.

He took a profit, yes.

In every season and almost every city, we will see at least a half-dozen if not a dozen what we call folk marquetry and parquetry tables. And they say, "My grandfather did this. He spent 5,000 hours." And I always say, it's not about how many hours it took you; it's not about how hard you worked; it's not about how many different woods you use. It's about, did it work? And when it's all over, does somebody look at that and go, "Wow!"? Guess what? Wow! This is hands down the best piece of folk marquetry I've ever seen in all the years of doing Roadshow. First off, we have this very simple checkerboard/chessboard. In each of the corners, we have parquetry, which is geometric examples of inlaid wood.


Now, we have on the top the marquetry, which is pictorial depictions. We've got horse racing, basketball, ice skating, golf, chess or checkers, archery, track and field, polo, more track and field, shot put, boxing, high jumping. Now, if we go down to this lower level here, we've got three on each side. We've got dancing, fencing, track and field again, hunting... and I love this-- canoeing. Then we've got fishing, skiing, football, tennis... One more time. Sailing, hockey and billiards. But I want to save the best for last. We've got baseball on a full diamond. What makes it a great table is the combination of all the elements. In the phrase of one of the great furniture historians, he said, "It dances." Everything about it moves. Everything about it just says the joy of sport and his pleasure in making it. If I saw this at a top-end folk art show, I would expect them to be asking, retail, about $6,000 to $8,000.



Oh, my gosh! I would have never believed that! Oh, that's wonderful. (chuckling)

Appraisal Details

J. M. Flanigan American Antiques
Baltimore, MD
Appraised value (2009)
$6,000 Retail$8,000 Retail
Phoenix, AZ (August 01, 2009)
Folk Art

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