August 19, 2012
It’s simple yet it has a decent look about it.
Unfortunately it’s not marked so I don’t know who made it. The veneer appears to be clear grained wood, probably mahogany but it is light in color so it maybe Central American mahogany. I asked one of the Estate Store’s friends who has a much deeper knowledge of mid-century pieces than I if he recognized the piece or the pulls but unfortunately he didn’t.Which reminds me: when we got this piece in it was missing one of the pulls. I’ve added a couple other ones to the top drawer to fill out the count, but we’ve kept the other original pull in case the buyer happens to have a match.
Overall this four drawer dresser is 19 inches deep, 32 inches wide and 31 inches tall. There are some notable scratches in the top but otherwise it is in good condition.
August 18, 2012
Bone plates are handy little things. They were originally intended as a discreet place to put waste bones from fish or fowl during the meal without stacking them upon the plate you were still eating from. This was in keeping within the bounds of late 19th century concepts of sanitation, the application of industrial work flow practices in the domestic sphere and consumption as a means of defining social* stratification.
But. . . what if you aren’t worried about the appearance of class mobility, don’t typically have bones to dispose of or like things to be multi-functional?
In that case I’ve found that they make good pickle or relish dishes, or are great for small servings of fruit** or hors d’oeuvres. We only have two of these at this time, but we see them on a fairly regular basis. This particular pair was made by Johnson Brothers and they measure about 6 inches wide.
*In turn leading to the manufacture and collection of huge arrays of china and silver services, with specialized pieces for all sorts of uses, from sterling ice cream servers through elaborate bone china centerpieces. Meaning of course that the only thing better than keeping up with the Jones’ is showing that you’re better than they are by having more stuff.
**The fig credit goes to Peter, thanks for bringing them; they were delicious, especially so with the last of the dill sheep’s cheese I’d nearly forgotten was in the refrigerator.
August 18, 2012
I’m pretty good at guessing the age of things, but sometimes it’s just that; a guess. My guess is that this piece dates to around 1850, plus or minus a few years. The style is pretty securely within the American version of the Empire style which was most popular from around 1810 through 1850 or so. The style enjoyed a brief revival in the 1890′s and again in the post World War Two period.
This particular piece is too old to be from the post war revival and the predominant use of cut, rather than wire nails in the construction suggests that it isn’t from the 1890′s. This leaves the first period of Empire style furniture. Given the simplicity of design and the use of cut nails I’d guess* that it is from the latter end of the initial period of popularity of the style.
This highboy dresser is just over 44 inches wide, 23 inches deep and 56 inches tall. There are no major flaws but some minor ones, including an old crack/joinery flaw on the top surface (which is not typically visible if you’re of average height) and one 2 inch wide chipped spot on the lower left side (see slide show below). The planks seem to be solid mahogany. All the drawers work OK, but some of them could use stops to keep them from being pushed too far back into the case-work. Unfortunately we don’t have the key for the locks.
*Again with the guessing . . . unfortunately I’m familiar with a big section of historic material culture and the indicators of time therein. However that is a limited pool and as one moves further out from there the time ranges get significantly bigger. Consider it the problem of the generalist vs. the specialist. Someone who specializes in 19th Century antiques would be able to tell relatively easily how old this piece is, for me though . . .
There are some wire nails used in this piece, notably in the attachment of the back. I think this was probably a later upgrade from the original back.
August 18, 2012
Not sure what that something is, but folks will notice when they see it.
This is a poster for the spring run of The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade at the New Warehouse Theater every Friday and Saturday in May.
It is in good condition and measures roughly 12 by 18 inches.
August 17, 2012
When I think of Bendix brakes I think of asbestos. It’s hugely pejorative, but that’s a memory of the days when brake pads were full of all sorts of nasty stuff.
Luckily these are just glass mugs so they’re still safe to use. The glassware was made by Federal Glass so they predate 1979. Oddly enough they are mug sized (roughly 3 inches tall and 10 ounces volume). They are in great condition and we’re willing to break the pair up.
August 16, 2012
Vintage Bennington Potters mini-platter designed by David Gil. There is a wire on the back so it could be used either functionally or decoratively. It measures 8 1/2 by 7 inches and it is in perfect condition.
The Town of Bennington, Vermont was named after Benning Wentworth who by all accounts never set foot there; neither before, during or after his tenure as the Governor of New Hampshire. The town of Bennington though is an important place in American history. If it weren’t for the actions of the militia in August of 1777 we’d still be speaking English. Real English. English with the intonation of the Queen and with silent H’s at the beginning of such words as Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire (and hurricanes hardly ever happen).
235 years ago, on August 16th 1777 the Battle of Bennington took place about 10 miles west of its namesake town. A British raid under a sub-commander of General ’Gentleman Johnny’ Burgoyne supported by German mercenaries, Native Americans and Canadians attempted to seize supplies located near Bennington.
In a stroke of good luck for the nascent revolution the town was actually defended AND they were able to meet the advance. The resulting battle was lost by the English and directly contributed to Burgoyne’s subsequent loss at Saratoga. The loss of Saratoga was one of the pivotal moments of the American Revolutionary War since it was immediately after this battle that the French decided that the revolutionaries actually had a chance and decided to formally aid the uprising.
August 16, 2012
Fabulous Scandinavian mid-century modern dining table and chair set. The table is in the classic expanding-leaf style and is signed underneath Viggo Kristinsin #8 Teak. Presumably this is the maker of the piece. The table measures 35 inches wide, 55 inches long and has two 21 inch leaves.
There are also four dining chairs with this set. They are in good condition and are marked Viborg 95 which probably indicates the maker of the piece and perhaps the model number. I suspect that these were made by Viborg Stolefabrik a Danish firm but I’m not entirely sure.
Whatever, it’s a very nice set and we’re asking $825 since the pieces are in very good condition and we have a hard to find set of four chairs.
August 15, 2012
Victorian Era hall tree with Eastlake roots but with somewhat later (about 1890 to 1900) asymmetrical styling. It measures 80 inches tall (to the top of the iron hook), 27 1/2 inches wide and 9 inches deep. There are five hooks (all present) and a little lidded box. It is in OK condition though some of the wood has warped a little in the passing of the years. $125
It’s hard to believe now but the limited use of asymmetry in architecture and art in the last decades of the 19th century overturned long-standing design constructs. This was a fundamental intellectual shift away from Greek and Roman derived designs which emphasized symmetry and proportion. This movement in turn helped set the stage for broad-scale acceptance of asymmetrical works in the early and mid 20th century. In fact it may be one of the key differential characteristics which differentiates between pre-modern and modern design.