Featured Depression in Brown Antique Furniture Prices?

Discussion in 'Furniture' started by James Conrad, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    So says everyone including myself from time to time. Last month there was a Virginia C. 1760 walnut tea table for sale at a small auction house here in North Carolina. It is a very nice example however, the condition was fair at best, large stain to top, top reset, 1 carved drop missing, glue blocks missing or replaced, break/repair to 1 leg, break/repair to 1 skirt board.
    Estimate was 5k-10k which was a fair estimate i think considering condition issues, there were 83 bids on this table and it was finally hammered down for $57,000. USD
    GEE WIZ! what happened to those depression prices?! They went nite nite on this tea table, that's for sure.


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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
  2. Drew

    Drew Well-Known Member

    10 times the low estimate - surprising with the mentioned flaws. Is the finish original ? Very nice looking table. i imagine somewhat of a rarity being Southern, mid 18th c.
  3. wiscbirddog

    wiscbirddog Well-Known Member

    Jaw drops to floor here is WI. Wish I had one to sell. :woot:
  4. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    No, finish/surface was not original, almost never is.
    Yes, southern pieces generally speaking sell for more than similar form new england pieces but, NOT that much more, unless Thomas Jefferson or someone similar owned it and, you can prove it.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
  5. patd8643

    patd8643 Well-Known Member

    Elegant! WOW on hammer price!
  6. janettekay

    janettekay Well-Known Member

  7. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Not what comes to my mind when you guys talk about 'brown furniture'. I think more of the bureau I had in my childhood bedroom, or maybe all the mahogany in my grandparents' home. This is a whole different order of being. Still...!
  8. blooey

    blooey Well-Known Member

    It is a beauty though. Still lotsa dough, but buggerall to those who have wads of it.
  9. pearlsnblume

    pearlsnblume Well-Known Member

    Holy cow. Wowie. Not a furniture gal, but that is a lot of money.
  10. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    AGREES! particularly a piece in fair at best condition. Did see a small southern side table at the Americana Shows in NYC in Jan that went for 6 figures (100k+ i forget the exact amount) but, that table was once owned by Thomas Jefferson & they could prove it! That table had far more value as a historical object than it's old furniture value.
    I don't get the price on this table, yes, it's a fine example of an early southern Tea table in fair condition, but 57k? uhhhhhhhhhh nooooooooooooo.
    Unless George Washington once owned it, then it's a bargain!:p
  11. Ghopper1924

    Ghopper1924 Well-Known Member

    The very "top of the tree" furniture has continued to sell for big $ all along, although everything else, even the very nice stuff by "name" makers, seems to be stuck in a brown furniture recession.

    The weird thing is that this particular table has gone for so much money. It's great and all, but I'm not sure it should be in the stratosphere with Jefferson's side table.

    Half empty or half full? I choose to see this as a possible good omen in the coming years, that brown furniture "for the rest of us" will recover, and that millennials and their successors will latch on to the fact that an ordinary 19th century brown Victorian table will last centuries longer than their Ikea stuff.

    Just call me Pollyanna....:)
  12. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    WOW, James!!!! Agree with everything you said!!! But isn't 'she' a delicate little lady!!!!! Have never before seen such delicate little claw feet.....her lines ARE beautiful!! Wondering if something was known and NOT revealed at the auction for the price to go THAT high!!!!
  13. alex webb

    alex webb Well-Known Member

    the keno brothers must have been bidding against each other again.
  14. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Yes, that crossed my mind as well, 2 or more bidders knew something that no one else did OR, 2 or more bidders determined to win no matter the cost.
    83 bids is A LOT of bids, this little war went on for awhile, something was afoot, no doubt!

    Yes! she is, very "english" in a way, which was quite common among the southern planter class. They were not interested in "americanized" furniture fashions. They had the wealth to visit england often so they knew what was "hot" fashion wise in the old country & directed their cabinetmakers here to build it THAT WAY!!
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
  15. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    I just remembered what was "hot" furniture fashion wise in mid 18th century england, "neat & plain", THAT was the "look" many wealthy colonists were after back in the day here as well.
  16. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    Perhaps Kiko's cats have hijacked her account and are looking for suitable pieces to go with their chair (throne)! Time to start making room for all the shipping crates that will be arriving soon.

  17. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    Any previous sales in this piece's past? Perhaps someone was digging through the provenance and found something.
  18. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    No, none listed, no provenance either.
    Ghopper1924, judy and KikoBlueEyes like this.
  19. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes On Road Trip

    :D:D:D:D:D You know them well! They are extremely demanding and only accept the best. A friend of mine came over for some backup cat sitter instructions and said "When I die, I want to come back as one of your cats."
    Ghopper1924, kyratango, judy and 3 others like this.
  20. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes On Road Trip

    No provenance? It's pretty and has some subtle features that make it interesting like the notched corners, the transition pieces from the top to the legs, etc. but someone must have seen the same or a similar piece that was a known quantity on which to make such an astonishing bid.
    judy and James Conrad like this.
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