• 14 Jul
    2010

Determining the Value of Antique Furniture: Using the Five ‘F’ Words

One of the most important determinants of value in an older piece of furniture, naturally, is the “condition,” which is one of the most-frequently heard words in any discussion about antiques. But how do you determine the condition of a piece other than just giving it the once over? You should develop a system for […]

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  • 5 Jul
    2010

Mersman Tables: They’re Everywhere!

Any antique shop that has more than three pieces of Colonial Revival furniture is almost certain to have a Mersman table somewhere in the joint. Why? Because Mersman made millions of them. During the 100-plus-year life of the company, it churned out more than 30 million tables. In the 1920s, the company bragged that one […]

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  • 5 Jul
    2010

The Collector’s Minute: GE Monitor Top Refrigerator

  When someone mentions the words “Antique Refrigerator,” it’s usually the General Electric Monitor Top refrigerator that comes to mind. GE first produced these for the residential market in 1927, selling them for the then-huge sum of $300. To get around this hefty purchase price, GE used a brilliant marketing campaign, offering these refrigerators for […]

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  • 29 Jun
    2010

Ask A Worthologist Question: A Long Case Clock

  Jennifer M. is trying to identify a grandfather clock she picked up. So she engaged WorthPoint’s “Ask a Worthologist” service, and it was forwarded to me. Here is her question: “This grandfather clock came from an old home in Rhode Island. We got what we feel is a good deal on it; we paid […]

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  • 21 Jun
    2010

The Piano – The Ultimate Functional Art

Furniture is sometimes referred to as “functional art.” In the case of the piano, perhaps it should be called “functional art for art.” After all, the primary purpose of a piano is to produce music, one our most elaborate art forms, but then again, a piano is an imposing piece of furniture whether or not […]

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  • 15 Jun
    2010

Clean It Up but Keep It Original – Seven Hints on Restoring Antique Clocks

Ken and Susan Markley, who run Old Timers Clocks on GoAntiques.com, have some great tips on bringing a luster back to that old clock on the mantle. For more than 20 years, Old Timers Clocks has sold all sorts of antique clocks, including tall case, mantle and shelf varieties. Although some are housed in porcelain, […]

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  • 8 Jun
    2010

Flights of Fancy – Imaginary Furniture Names

A quick reading of selected world history reveals a number of events or artifacts that are identified with a specific time, place or person. Many of these references are historically accurate, such as the Pax Romana (the so-called Roman Peace of the period 27 B.C.-180 A.D.) or the Victorian period of 1837-1901. But other references […]

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  • 31 May
    2010

The Collector’s Minute: The Savonarola Style Chair

This chair is a “Dantesca Chair,” a variation on the “Savonarola” style chair. The style gets its name from Girolamo Savonarola (Sept. 21, 1452 to May 23, 1498), who was a late-15th-century Catholic monk often pictured seated in such a chair. His fame was his crusade against what he called “the Vanities.” His followers collected […]

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  • 24 May
    2010

Sweet Dreams: Henry Boyd Tester Beds Highly Collectible

What do you sleep in? No, I don’t mean your apparel, but what type of bed? If you own a “four-poster” or “tester” bed with a large head and footboard supported by massive wooden posts that almost reach the ceiling, look it over and see it’s stamped “H. Boyd Cin. Ohio.” More often than not […]

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  • 17 May
    2010

The Real Hitchcock Chair: How to Tell Originals from Reproductions

Everyone knows what a Hitchcock chair is, right? The small, rickety chairs with the rush or cane seats, usually painted black with lots of leaves and flowers and fruit painted all over it. Sometimes they have solid seats that show a dark natural wood surrounded by black paint and gold stripes and more leaves painted […]

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