American Aesthetic Movement Oak Dining Table, ca. 1880
It's a table that was in our home when we bought it in about 1974. The table had been in the home at least, I would say, since 1910. The people we bought it from told us that they'd bought it from the Hamm's Beer family, and that it had been there when they bought the place. It's believed to be from the Hill family.
The Hamm family, of course, is a very prominent brewing family. And Hill was an industrialist, a railroad baron, that was one of the richer men in America. The Hill mansion still exists, very large home, finished in 1891. This is 73 inches in diameter, and it extends a great deal. Do you have the leaves to it?
I do not.
Do you know how far it extends, by any chance?
About 18 or 19 feet.
Yeah. Which would support the fact that this was made for a large custom house. There's a couple of details on the bottom of this that I'd like to point out. First, on this base you can see the front of the leg, which is mounted with these two cats. The backside maintains the same motif. Both the front panel and the back panel are carved, meaning that they were intended to be viewed as an addition to this center leg. The piece is an American-made piece. It's in the American Aesthetic Movement style. They didn't want a table just to serve the function of a table, but they wanted it to be a work of art in itself. So when we consider the facts, could this have been made for the Hill house, some things stand out-- the size, the quality. It's a little bit early for that house. This dates from around 1875 to 1885.
Then I went online and I happened to look at some photographs. The interior of that house does not match the style of this table. The dining room in that house was done in mahogany. This table's done in oak. So I think that, based on those elements, we could conclude that it's not very likely that that's where it originated from. Not to diminish the fact that it was an expensive piece. It's not a production piece of furniture. This is a custom-made piece of furniture and would have been very expensive in its day. The market today is a little bit soft for such things, and while it's a rare thing, a rare table, not easy to find this quality in a dining room table, I think the current value at auction would be $3,000 to $5,000.
Mm-hmm. You said $3,000 to $5,000?
Correct. I think if we had the original leaves you could add another $1,000, maybe $1,500 for them.
Wow. Well, my children will be excited. They'll know what... they have a value on their heirloom.
Now one of them has to get a big enough house so it can fit in it.
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