Inlaid Center Table, ca. 1870

Value (2004) | $10,000 Auction

It belonged to a cousin of my mother's and I got it when she passed away.

And do you know where she got it?

She got it from an antique shop, I believe, here in Omaha. She collected those things when she was younger.

About how long ago was that?

That was about the turn of the century and then she died about 25 years ago, so I've had it for that long.

Been in your family for quite a while. Do you know anything about it?

No, I really don't know anything about it. I know she said that there were many different kinds of wood and there was a list of the woods that it had, but that's been lost.

Okay. This is about as powerful a table as anybody could buy when it was made-- about 1865 to 1875. Undoubtedly New York. There were 5,000 cabinetmakers active in New York, so it's hard to be specific about which one it is, but I can assure you that whoever made this table was one of the best.


It's the most important piece of furniture that would have been shown in any house. This was a center table. It would have been placed in the parlor. The top was made in France; it's marquetry of various woods. This was imported, and as you can see from the top, it's just beautifully inlaid. We've got birds eating, picking berries and nuts with the floral swags around. Kingwood, rosewood, and we come down to the side here where we've got this gilt bronze trim that comes around. All the base is in rosewood, which is premium wood. People get confused about rosewood thinking that it's from a rose bush or a rose tree. Rosewood is given its name because it gives off an odor when it's sawed that smells like roses.

Oh, okay.

The carving on it is spectacular. As you can see here, we got open work underneath these swags that come down that give us a pierced... light can show through it, the shell motif in the center that's consistent with New York cabinetmakers. Wonderful legs, wonderful stretcher, great proportions, great size, great stance. With that said, it has some condition issues. The majority of the original surface is intact, but there are problems. We've got a huge split that comes down, loose moldings, loose pieces. Um, we've got minor breaks and so forth. And this gets into one of those situations where we don't like to encourage restoration, but sometimes it's unavoidable. And in this case, this table would benefit greatly, but it would have to be done from a great conservator. You would not risk this type of furniture with somebody who is a secondary conservator. So in this condition it's my feeling that the table is easily in the $10,000 range. If you put...


I don't know how much restoration costs would be, but it would certainly be in excess of $5,000, might be as much as $10,000, but if that was done and this table was brought back, this table would probably bring $20,000 to $30,000 easy enough.

Oh, my gosh.

So it's a great table and one of the best that I've had the privilege to see on the show and I'm thrilled you brought it in.


Appraisal Details

Sacramento, CA
Appraised value (2004)
$10,000 Auction
Omaha, NE (July 10, 2004)
19th Century

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