Federal Inlaid Mahogany Games Table, ca. 1800

Value (2010) | $6,000 Auction$9,000 Auction
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GUEST:
I inherited this from my grandparents 30 years ago and they were from Hagerstown, Maryland.

APPRAISER:
How did they get the table?

GUEST:
He was a minister, and they didn't have a whole lot, so, you know, a lot of things their parishioners gave them.

APPRAISER:
And you know what it's used for?

GUEST:
I was guessing it was a game table of some kind.

APPRAISER:
Exactly. In the 18th century, games tables or card tables, we call them, like this with a hinged leaf so the legs swing out in the back and you can play games on, were really popular. Your table is very English looking. It looks like a George III table because of the quality. Look at this beautiful mahogany, all this inlay. This is actually cherrywood, an American wood, these little bellflowers. And if we turn the table over this way, we can identify the secondary woods.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And this is where it gets sort of fun. You see these back rails?

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Those are made of American oak. And they're double swing rails. And that's a typical Maryland characteristic.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
And I believe that because of the double swing rails as well as the very distinctive inlay that it's not Baltimore, made right in the city, but western Maryland. This is a very rare western Maryland Federal games table, made about 1795 or 1800. This is all white pine, by the way.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
See that number? That's the number "2."

GUEST:
Oh!

APPRAISER:
So there was originally a pair. If you can find the other one, you know, you'd really have something. But on its own, this is an amazing table. We judge tables like this on the basis of proportion. And the quality is amazing. I mean, this leaf weighs a ton.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
It's really dense. Beautiful stripe, book-match wood. The condition is unbelievable. This is the original finish.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Which you know we love.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And collectors love. The market for card tables has gone down a bit. Not what it used to be. Except for tables like this.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
I would say at auction, this would be in the range of $6,000 to about $9,000.

GUEST:
Oh, very good. Very nice.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2010)
$6,000 Auction$9,000 Auction
Event
Washington, DC (August 21, 2010)
Form
Table
Material
Wood, Mahogany, Cherry, Oak, Pine

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