Philadelphia Federal Tilt Stand, ca. 1790

Value (2010) | $6,000 Retail$8,000 Retail
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GUEST:
I brought this table because I don't really know a great deal about it. It was my grandmother's. I think my grandfather bought it for her probably somewhere in the early 1920s. He was an engineer, and he traveled around the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area, and I'm guessing that's where it came from. That's all I know. I'm hoping you can tell me something about it, particularly that eagle that's up there on the top.

APPRAISER:
Well, it's a classic tilt table form.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Now, everybody knows the famous tea tables of Philadelphia that bring a million dollars. But when you get to the Federal Era-- and this piece is from the Federal Era, 1785 to about 1810-1815-- the tea table kind of falls out of favor, and the tilt stand starts to drift off as well. So we're looking at those elements that have been adapted to the Federal form. So we have an urn here...

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
...instead of that suppressed ball or rounded edge. We have a beautiful curved leg. And I really love the way the Philadelphia guys do that, because this inner leg here actually comes back in and curves back in a little.

GUEST:
I see.

APPRAISER:
And then we have this wonderful little dimple here in between. So the line comes up, returns back. All this is elegant, very, very finely wrought. The lines are attenuated, they taper. The line inlay is great. This table is made of 100% mahogany. There's really no secondary woods. Now, if we look at the table as we see it here, we talk about the slender column, the elegant line of the legs, the oval top... it's a $600 table. Maybe $800 in the market, okay?

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Now, if we tilt it and show everybody else what we've been able to see, we're now looking at a table that has changed entirely. That eagle is the focus of everybody's attention. Every region does the eagle a little different.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
This eagle is a Philadelphia eagle. It turns up on clocks, especially clock faces, and doors. Very, very typical for Philadelphia. In Baltimore, they like a spread eagle a little more, where the wings are out here. It's a little more on the horizontal plane. This one is delightful, and so often it's been sanded down and it's lost its color. This one has a wonderful green background in here, which is really the key to giving it that contrast. And what they did that was really great is they did what they called sand burning. They'd take the little individual elements, and they'd dip them in burning sand, which is actually just heated, and then it gives it that burn mark there, and that gives it shading. And these wings here, they cut them out individually, dipped them into the hot sand to get that shadow effect, which gives it a more three-dimensional quality. So the addition of the eagle changes this $600-to-$800 table to easily a $6,000-to-$8,000 table, and that is in a retail setting without any problem.

GUEST:
Wow. Whoa... Okay. Wow.

APPRAISER:
So you want to be real careful and protect this.

GUEST:
I should treat it with care. That's phenomenal. Thank you! (chuckling) I... I really am surprised.

APPRAISER:
Well, that's great.

GUEST:
Yeah.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
J. M. Flanigan American Antiques
Baltimore, MD
Appraised value (2010)
$6,000 Retail$8,000 Retail
Event
Miami Beach, FL (July 10, 2010)
Form
Table
Material
Mahogany, Wood

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