New England Chippendale Chest-on-Chest

Value (2011) | $20,000 Insurance
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GUEST:
I brought in a Chippendale chest-on-chest that was built somewhere in the late 1700s, and it was passed down through my family on my father's side. I come from an old Philadelphia family, and it was built in Philadelphia.

APPRAISER:
Okay, and you had an appraisal done six years ago, in 2005, is that right?

GUEST:
Yeah, it was probably an appraisal from a previous appraisal, so the people didn't see it, and it was appraised at $20,000.

APPRAISER:
$20,000.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
Okay. This is a classic New England chest-on-chest. They made pieces that looked just like this in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and into Connecticut. I believe this one was made in Southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
So it was not made in Pennsylvania.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
It dates from about 1800, at the tail end of the Chippendale period.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
Starting at the top here, it has this nice little carved fan, which is... it's a nice addition. We can see that this knob is not correct. This probably had a little teardrop pull that hung down, but that doesn't really affect the value. The piece is made of tiger maple, which is very important. The collectors will pay a premium for tiger maple. It has a wonderful old mellow surface. The patina is terrific, and you can actually feel the tiger maple in the moldings.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
So those are very desirable features. It has these wonderful Chippendale brasses also with great color, so this is a piece that would appeal to a purist who really likes the old surface and the fact that it's untouched. Now, when we're looking at a chest-on-chest for originality, we need to determine that it's not married-- that the top and the bottom always started life together, because sometimes they were separated.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
So we look at the construction and determine that the construction is consistent between the top and the bottom. Moving down the case, these heavy case pieces are prone to restoration and replacement of the feet. In this case, the feet are very clean, they're original, they have their original glue blocking. In terms of the value, I would say that the appraisal price that you had done six years ago of $20,000 would be an appropriate retail value today.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
But it's important to note that the market has changed a lot in the last six years, and a high-style country piece like this, the market has gone down a bit, so the appropriate appraisal price at that time would have been about $35,000.

GUEST:
Oh, wow.

APPRAISER:
So it was a little bit low. But it's a great chest-on-chest. Thank you for bringing it in.

GUEST:
Yeah, sure.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Gary R. Sullivan Antiques, Inc
Canton, MA
Appraised value (2011)
$20,000 Insurance
Event
Eugene, OR (June 04, 2011)
Period
Chippendale
Material
Maple, Tiger Maple, Wood

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