Tobey Furniture Company Card Table, ca. 1900

Value (2011) | $4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction

We moved next door to an elderly lady who became a very dear friend of ours, and when she passed away, we purchased the table from her estate in 2004. We believe this is Art Nouveau. I'm not sure if it is or not. We do know that it was made by the Tobey Furniture Company, and they went out of business in 1950... '54, something like that. And that's about as much as I know about the table.

The Tobey Furniture Company was in business for a long time. They started out in the 1850s, and they went out of business in the early 1950s in Chicago. And their peak production in this kind of handmade, organic stuff like this would have probably been in the early 1900s. And they made a lot of Arts and Crafts furniture. When they first started selling Arts and Crafts furniture, they had furniture made by the Stickley company that they sold. It's a nice package all the way down. It has nice step molding. And then once you get to the base... We've had all kinds of discussion about what style it is. Now, as far as I'm concerned, it's Art Nouveau, but then I've had others say, "No, that's Rococo Revival," and somebody else said, "Oh, well, that's Regency Revival." And it doesn't really matter, because it's a great piece of sculpture.

I agree.

Tobey was copying what they saw in some of the French and Belgian things that were being made across the sea, but this is a much more muscular interpretation of all that. And it goes this way, right?

Uh, I think... yeah.

And it should have a stop over there.

Yeah, it stops.

And the other thing, it has a little brass medallion right over here, with the name on it.


The condition is immaculate. It has wonderful figured mahogany. And the fact that there's not so many of them out there makes it rarer. It also makes it harder to price it, because what are you going to compare it to? What did you pay for it?

We paid $1,000 for it.

As an auction estimate, I would put $4,000 to $6,000 on it. But I would qualify that. This is the kind of piece of furniture that I could see two people going bananas over. More than two. So $4,000 to $6,000 is a presale estimate at auction, and Katy bar the door from there.

Okay, thank you.

Appraisal Details

Ken Farmer LLC
Charlottesville, VA
Appraised value (2011)
$4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction
Atlanta, GA (August 06, 2011)

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