Southern Yellow Pine Huntboard, ca. 1825

Value (2009) | $12,000 Insurance

GUEST:
I've always thought that it was made at least in the Southeast. I didn't know which state, possibly South Carolina, Georgia, not sure. From what I've read about huntboards, a lot of them are from that area. Part of the folklore that my mother acquired about it was that these tired, thirsty hunters would come in on their horses and sling the dead fox or whatever it was under there... (laughing) ...while they had the tall glasses of ale.

APPRAISER:
You called this a huntboard...

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
and actually, there was really no such thing ever named in any of the cabinetmakers' diaries.

GUEST:
I now know that.

APPRAISER:
They were actually never used where people would come in on their horses and take refreshments off of the top of it. Because you know, after you've been on a long horseback ride, the last thing you're going to do is stay on the horse.

GUEST:
Yeah. (laughing)

APPRAISER:
People in the trade and scholars have done a lot of research, and basically, we think that they were just made as sideboards. An average sideboard or table is maybe 36 inches.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And most huntboards are 40 inches.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
I've actually seen one that was 50 inches tall.

GUEST:
I think I've read about that one.

APPRAISER:
Oh, you did? Okay. Now, y'all got this...?

GUEST:
My mother bought it in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, area. There's a kind of an antique shop row, or there was then, in the '40s. It lived in what was then an old stone family farmhouse where we lived, where it worked hard as a serving piece for 50, 60 years. A lot of family turkeys cut off the top. There was one year where a large dog took the turkey off the top and raced out into the front field.

APPRAISER:
A very large dog.

GUEST:
A greyhound. He had no problem with it.

APPRAISER:
Back in the '40s, a lot of things were brought from down south up north to be sold. Now, this is quintessentially southern. I think it's Georgia or South Carolina. It's yellow pine.

GUEST:
That's what I thought, yeah.

APPRAISER:
And one of the things you run into a lot with these is the case will be in relatively good condition, but the feet are cut off. And a lot of people made new legs for them, and obviously this is not the case with this one, because you can see the wear on the legs. Now, the fact that it has a paneled end is going to date it probably after 1810, 1820. It's kind of hard to date things like that because country cabinetmakers made lots of things out of period.

GUEST:
What is the finish? Because I know a lot of them were painted.

APPRAISER:
What it probably had rather than paint was a red wash.

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
And you can see a little bit of that color in the case. Now, what has happened is they took the old finish off, and I think this is a varnish finish.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
If you look at it in a raking light, you can see that. And even though it's refinished, it's still a great thing.

GUEST:
Would you guess that the refinish was put on some time ago? I mean, is that pretty old, or...?

APPRAISER:
Maybe at the time that your mom bought it.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
You hear us preach all the time on the Roadshow about the old finish and how not having it lowers the value, and in most instances in today's market, that's even more true. But in this case, the rarity of the form makes up for that fact. And if I was going to give you an insurance value, I would probably put $12,000 on it.

GUEST:
My goodness. That... that's great.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2009)
$12,000 Insurance
Event
San Jose, CA (August 15, 2009)
Period
19th Century
Form
Sideboard
Material
Pine

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