Paul Evans “Cityscape” Coffee Table, ca. 1975

Value (2011) | $6,000 Auction$9,000 Auction
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GUEST:
We inherited this table from my husband's grandparents. They purchased it in the early 1960s in New York. We think it's a Paul Evans Cityscape wine table, but we're not sure.

APPRAISER:
It is a Paul Evans table, and it is Cityscape. Paul Evans did a myriad of different styles of furniture. He started in the mid-1950s in New Hope, Pennsylvania. And you're a little bit off on the time frame. This is from the mid-1970s, actually.

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
He started about 1957 making furniture, and he ended up in the 1980s, and he actually passed away as a very young man. He died at 55 years old, which at my age seems very young, you know? (laughs) This is the last big line of furniture he made. He really started off as a studio craftsman. A very small shed, almost a garage in New Hope, and he kept building and people loved his furniture, and they kept buying it. This piece, I really think, demonstrates a lot of the Cityscape qualities quite well. It's very geometric. I love the cantilevered end, and Cityscape was meant to look like buildings and so it's very shiny and very geometric. Almost all Paul Evans furniture is geometric in some way or another. He started off as a jeweler, so everything is very kind of jewelry oriented. It's very tight, and it's very well organized. As far as the damage on this piece, Cityscape furniture was sort of fragile. It's made with chrome, and some pieces have bronze in them. And it was attached to a plywood frame with kind of glue and tape, and it really is fragile. This piece has a few dings and bangs. How did they get there?

GUEST:
Well, some of the dings can be attributed to my husband when he was a toddler. Yeah. He stood up to this table and used his uncle's calculator to bang on the table.

APPRAISER:
Nice. (both laughing) The problem with Cityscape, it's extremely difficult to restore. Once it's dented, you almost have to replace the pieces. And again, the pieces would be very, very difficult to put together.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
It's very rare to find a piece of Cityscape that doesn't have some kind of character marks put there from years of use. So, do you know what your grandparents paid for this piece?

GUEST:
My husband's grandmother said she paid about $1,000 for this table, actually.

APPRAISER:
Paul Evans furniture was very expensive. At auction today, this table's probably worth $6,000 to $9,000.

GUEST:
Get out! Really? Absolutely, absolutely. Wow.

APPRAISER:
He's one of my very favorite designers of all times.

GUEST:
Wow, that's great!

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Rago Arts & Auction Center
Lambertville, New Jersey
Appraised value (2011)
$6,000 Auction$9,000 Auction
Event
Eugene, OR (June 04, 2011)
Form
Table
Material
Chrome, Plywood

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