Saturday, August 11, 2012


I was recently called to Sarasota by a New York contact who referred an appraisal assignment to me that proved most rewarding as it afforded me the opportunity to examine and value some really interesting mid value range Continental furniture and decorations from the 17th through to the 19th Century.

Not without some interest was this handsome and imposing Continental table which folded over to become a larger table. It is seen below when closed.

As with so very much (often most) furniture of this age, there was indication of some alterations. It's possible the top and base were remade from various 17th Century parts. The splits in the baluster legs and the mechanism of the top flipping open hinted at a probable later (most likely 19th Century) alteration.

At least I suspected the likelihood of that being the case. Although there were no traces of paint, it's also possible that much of this sort of furniture once had painted surfaces and decoration.

But in the end, for an appraiser - especially one like me who is particularly specialized in the study of French and Continental early furniture before 1830 - developing connoisseurship is an ongoing -and often humbling - voyage of discovery.  Regardless of what alterations may have transpired, this remains a largely interesting Baroque table contemporary with the age of Rubens with all the characteristic exuberance and somewhat "gutsy" charm one associates with furniture probably originating in Flanders or parts of Western Germany.

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