Victorian Table, ca. 1865

Value (2004) | $12,000 Auction$15,000 Auction

GUEST:
My grandfather emigrated from Sweden in 1882. He was a carpenter, cabinetmaker, and later on he became an antiques repairer, and we think that's when he got this table. We don't know exactly where he acquired it or how he acquired it, but it's been in the family since probably 1905, 1906.

APPRAISER:
I noticed that you brought us some pictures that shows where it was.

GUEST:
This was my grandparents' house and my aunt lived in that until 1980.

APPRAISER:
This... you can see the flowers and the pots of water on the table, so you know it's be used and abused over the years.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
I see this one's got it with a Christmas tree.

GUEST:
When my aunt died in 1980, we found it in an upstairs bedroom on its side with one of the legs broken.

APPRAISER:
Oh, my gosh.

GUEST:
Yeah. And so we brought it back to Minnesota and we had a restorer here put it back together for us and it's been in our home ever since. And I'm really interested in learning about maintaining it.

APPRAISER:
First of all, everybody refers to this style of table as a Victorian Renaissance Revival table.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And this is probably early 1860s, maybe up to 1870, so when your grandfather was running his shop, this would have probably been looked at as used furniture.

GUEST:
Oh, really

APPRAISER:
It was out of style by the turn of the century.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And that's probably how he was able to wind up with it.

GUEST:
Oh, I... that's wonderful to know.

APPRAISER:
And there's several different makers that this could be.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Herter Brothers was one. Jelliff was a cabinetmaker that made things like this, and there was another one from New York called Pottier and Stymus that could have done it. And, you know, the thing that's so interesting about this is all the architectural elements that are in it. This is a cabinetmaker's tour de force.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
They could order these marquetry inlaid panels like this.

GUEST:
All right.

APPRAISER:
And they would create this nice gallery with the inset for the marble. It's got beautiful burl veneers. Now, here where it's painted black-- they call that "ebonizing."

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
One of the things I like the best about it is that these lions' heads or these faces right here... I love that. And all of this carving down here, even the hoofed feet-- that's all done out of wood and then painted. This is gilding, and that's ebonized. And, you know, in a piece of furniture like this, the more over the top it is, the fancier it is, that's the thing that makes it so desirable for collectors, and this type of stuff has taken a huge surge in interest in the last ten or 15 years. I noticed it's faded out a little bit on this side.

GUEST:
Yes, it's been near a window,

APPRAISER:
Well...

GUEST:
and unfortunately, that's the only place in the house where it'll fit.

APPRAISER:
You can take this to a professional restoration person and you could probably polish this back to where it would look more like it did when it was new. See how nicely textured that is and how rich the varnish still looks on it, how you still see the color in the wood. That s the best part of the table. Well, when you get this restored, you could make the whole table look like that.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
Yeah. But it needs to be done by somebody that knows what they're doing, and it would probably a cost a couple thousand dollars or so to get it done right. Have you ever had this appraised before?

GUEST:
When it was restored back in 1980, the person that did the restoration told us it was worth about $5,000.

APPRAISER:
In its current state of preservation, I would say a minimum of $12,000,

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
Maybe as much as $15,000.

GUEST:
That much?

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
That's unbelievable. (laughing) It really is.

APPRAISER:
If you get the restoration done like I talked about, in the open market, something like this would probably be estimated $15,000 to $20,000.

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
Oh yeah.

GUEST:
Oh, I can't believe it.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2004)
$12,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Event
St Paul, MN (June 26, 2004)
Period
19th Century
Form
Table

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