Parquetry Fruit Dish, ca. 1925

Value (2010) | $3,000 Retail$4,000 Retail
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GUEST:
This is an inlaid fruit dish made by my grandfather in the 1920s in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He did this as a hobby. He was a car inspector for the Southern Railroad for 51 years. He did this and he also did a dining room table, same type plan.

APPRAISER:
This is a parquetry piece. When it's geometric and made up of lots of pieces of wood, we call it parquetry. When there's pictorial elements, we add the word "marquetry."

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
This was a men's hobby, and almost referred to in a way as "men's quilting." So men would work by themselves typically to create these pieces. They were made typically well into the 19th century, right up through the 20th century. And it was a European tradition that was brought over here with immigrants. Good pieces of parquetry typically are simple, square boxes with large pieces of wood.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
When you start to get better, the pieces get a little smaller and maybe some shape takes place.

GUEST:
Right. A little more creativity.

APPRAISER:
And then you have the best pieces.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And this is a piece that falls into the "best" category.

GUEST:
Good. I think the family history says there are 7,000 pieces of wood in this one piece?

APPRAISER:
That's right. The work is really, really exquisite. You have some marquetry elements, with a flower. And it really becomes in that "best" category because he even embellished the bottom. This was not going to be seen, but yet he felt compelled to do it.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
So here is this piece that a hundred years later, it's tight, it's smooth as silk, the wood is not popping or separating...

GUEST:
That's right.

APPRAISER:
And therefore he really knew what he was doing. He was self-educated, so...

GUEST:
learned on his own.

APPRAISER:
In terms of value, we see pieces like this and they tend to trade in the few-hundred-dollar range. But when we get into the best in these parquetry pieces, we now elevate the price. I think a nice retail price for this piece would be somewhere in the $3,000 to $4,000 area.

GUEST:
Yes. My family will be proud.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Allan Katz Americana
Woodbridge, CT
Appraised value (2010)
$3,000 Retail$4,000 Retail
Event
Biloxi, MS (July 24, 2010)
Period
20th Century
Form
Bowl
Material
Wood

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