Bermuda Secretary, ca. 1800
We actually got it from a dealer in Connecticut who's no longer there. My husband and I for many, many years had been interested in Bermuda furniture. We would always stop by and see what he had, and he showed us this piece and we immediately fell in love with it.
Why were you interested in Bermuda furniture?
Um, my husband's family for many, many years had been going to Bermuda, and shortly after we got married, we had bought a dining room table from Bermuda in Bermuda and that sort of sparked our interest.
I can tell you our hearts beat very quickly when we see Bermuda furniture as well because it's the only area of the furniture market where the exterior wood—the primary wood-- tells us its origin. In this case, of course, all of this wonderful cedar on the outside was native to Bermuda. It's often plainer furniture than the more high-style furniture which was produced in Boston or Philadelphia or in London. And I'll open the lid and you'll see, in fact, there's a very plain interior. What's very special about your piece, of course, is that they put a little bit more effort on the upper section, which is very unusual. The prospect door and the pigeon holes-- all of this made in native cedar. There are a few condition issues, but I'm going to take out this secret center section here and turn it around, and here are some hidden drawers, all made in, of course, native cedar. What's interesting is, is that the pieces that were made-- silver, furniture, decorative arts-- in Bermuda, they were influenced by the custom, or bespoke, pieces that were ordered from England and from, uh, Boston and from New York, and so the local cabinetmakers had to compete with that market. So it's a very interesting look at how cabinetmakers sold to a very small population on Bermuda, and, of course, the native cedar was a perfect wood to use, as it inhibited termites and bugs and other tropical problems that would occur in Bermuda. There are some issues with the cornice and some issues with the feet down below-- some repairs. Uh, but Bermuda furniture has a very loyal following, and a piece like this should bring at least $20,000 to $25,000 today.
Wow, that is wonderful.
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Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
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