Neo-Grec Pedestal at Dargate
Things seem a bit calm and quiet in the Victorian Furniture world right now. Maybe it is due to the recently flurry of good auctions and people are catching their breath. Could just be me feeling guilty after a recent antiquing binge.
I attended another antique show (Chester County Historical Society), paid my $15, and spent about 10 minutes walking around a room of 18th century antiques (and earlier) and resorted to looking at oil paintings due to the absence of any shred of Victoriana. I think I saw one lonely Victorian washstand relegated to the unattended wall outside of a booth. Thus is the life of a Victorian antique collector living in the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania area.
“Carved Stitched Painted Crafted” was the theme to the show and I think that describes Victorian era antiques quite well. Except that there weren’t any to be found. Most of the 18th century furniture that I saw at the show should have inspired them to call it the “Carved and Crafted” show instead. I’m kidding, of course, as the title is intended to convey the full gamut of furniture at the show and not a single piece, but you get my point. Nothing conveys visions of “Carved Stitched Painted Crafted” to me than Victorian.
You’d think that a historical society would observe the full history of the area and not stop at 1830. I have this vision of an educational poster depicting the eras of furniture-making throughout history presented on the wall in the Chester County Historical Society building. The section from 1830 onward is torn off. My vision further shows their bookshop selling furniture history books with the last 150 pages missing.
I would wager that there are more 19th century homes still standing in Chester County than there are 18th century. That would mean there would be a more robust need for 19th century antiques than 18th. Around here, if houses have antiques, they’re probably filled with 18th century pieces. Victorian is just not the taste of the population around here; it is the red-headed stepchild of the antiques business. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all eras of furniture and I will probably collect that era someday too, but my 1887 home is inspiring me to collect another.
I have to confess that I haven’t followed everything that CCHS has done over the years. Maybe they do have antique shows that have a Victorian element to them, but I think I pay a little less attention each year after each of these “Antique Shows” transpires with the clock stopped at 1830. In my view, a Historical Society should have a charter that is more comprehensive.
OK, off soapbox and onto the pedestal above (which is finely carved, painted, and crafted I might say), which will be available this weekend from Dargate. It is listed as being Aesthetic Movement in style, but is probably more properly categorized as Neo-Grec. Bidding will start at $150 and expected range is $300-$500, which I think if all goes well should be easily beat. More details at the listing. Thanks to 1881victorian in the forum for digging this item up.