Kentucky Chest of Drawers, ca. 1830

Value (2012) | $5,000 Auction$8,000 Auction

Catherine, I've seen hundreds of pieces of furniture today. And I was so excited when I saw you with this because it's actually made in Kentucky.

I did not know that.

Did you buy this in Kentucky or...?

No, in Ohio.

How long ago?

I think it was '53. And we had bought a new house, and we needed some more furniture. And so we went to an antique shop, and I was just looking for a chest of drawers.

Do you remember the price you paid back then?

I know the price.

How much was it?

Oh, gosh, $150.

$150. Well, the great thing about this is it does show what Kentucky furniture is all about in some ways. One of the details on this chest, which I saw immediately, which really excited me, is this small vine and berry decoration along the lower stiles and the base.


Also, this light and dark contrasting banding across the base and that beautifully shaped skirt are typical of Kentucky furniture. Also the fact that this is made of cherry wood, and the secondary wood on the inside is tulip poplar. This is this greenish bland wood, and the inside, beautiful dovetails here. It has a very unusual locking system. Now, it's broken off now, but these were pieces of hickory, which you could bend. And it would have extended a few inches down. And when the drawer is closed, the catch would hold it, the spring catch would hold it. The only way to get into those upper drawers was to lift the little catch. So these were permanently locked unless you had the key to this drawer. And I love this little moon motif, these half-moons, and this diamond motif in the center. These are the original brasses. It's really in great condition. You've really kept it well. Because it's so rare, being made in Kentucky, because it's in great condition, it's probably worth in the range of around $4,000 to about maybe $6,000, sort of as a range.

Great, that's good.

So that's a pretty good increase on your money, right?

(laughing) Yes, it sure is.

You're happy about that?

I'm very happy about that.

Appraisal Details

Leslie Keno Art Advisory
Waccabuc, NY
Update (2012)
$5,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
Appraised value (1998)
$4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction
Louisville, KY (July 11, 1998)
19th Century
Cherry, Hickory

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