I Feel A Bit Queasy

by John Werry on July 12, 2008

0371 1 lg1 I Feel A Bit Queasy

Somebody make me feel better about missing this cabinet for $1,500.  I was asleep at the wheel on that one.  As I stated in the earlier post, I would be watching the price on this as a temperature guage for the health of the Victorian antique furniture market and never did I think it would go for $1,500.  Please tell me that they dropped it during the auction and it sold for scrap parts. Tell me the veneer was peeling all over the place. It makes me queasy for two reasons: 1) I missed a good buy, and 2) not a good sign of the current state of things.

And now, to distract myself, I will move onto another topic.  Take a look at this bed that I captured with my (lame) camera phone.  I’m tempted to purchase it due to the carving quality, but I was interested if anyone had seen a bed with similar carvings elsewhere.  Although the overall bed is simple, the crest on the headboard and footboard carvings are exceptionally fine.  I won’t attribute it to Alexander Roux by any means, but it reminds me of the quality of some of his hunt sideboard carvings.  The camera phone photos just don’t capture the detail too well.

$1,500 for that cabinet … sheesh.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Michadi Antiques July 12, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Brunk is not to far from my home; about 3 hours one way by car. I was watching the auction, had my finger on the trigger and was very tempted to bid, but I already have three fine cabinets of this genre already. My wife would have shot me if I brought home another. I noticed there was not a single floor bid, and only one internet bid which was interesting…

Michael

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Steve July 12, 2008 at 5:13 pm

You are soooooo right. This cabinet was a steal – Happy Birthday to the buyer. Could be a sign of the economic times. $1500 today gets me 15 gas tanks at the pump.

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RareVictorian July 12, 2008 at 5:17 pm

I can’t wait until this post scrolls off the homepage and I can forget about it. I may do 5 more posts so that it happens.

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aprevost July 12, 2008 at 6:46 pm

Hello all,
As my first post, I had to add in a further note about this auction. I had an absentee bid on item 109 (a 17″ square footstool) which ended up selling for $500.00. Is there any way to rationalize the cabinet selling for only three times the stool?

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RareVictorian July 12, 2008 at 7:06 pm

I take solace in believing that the winning bidder was prepared to pay 3-5k and had I bid, it wouldn’t have been a bargain.

I’ve also seen situations where it looked like a low bid won, but for whatever reason the item was withdrawn and it appears again in a later sale.

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Charles July 12, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Take some heart in the fact that maybe this was a fluke and the entire market is not tanking–the 5 piece Meeks parlor set at Ferrell’s in Colorado brought $41,000! All floor bidders it appears per checking on Ebay. Charles

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Paul Tucker July 12, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Just think how you would have felt if you got it for only $1500. Somewhere out there someone feels that good. Be happy for them.

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james conrad July 13, 2008 at 3:58 am

Yeah, i follow Brunk as well because its 2 hrs from charlotte where i live and i had a feeling this piece would struggle to reach its low estimate. Antique furniture today (middle market) is and has been for the last 8-10 years very reasonable. Every dealer i know says the same thing, sales are slow to dead. It doesnt matter what style either, victorian, early amer.,federal.
Another thing was the form, as you pointed out in an earlier post, these large credenza’s have a very limited use in todays home.
In any event, a very good buy but hey, its been that way in antique furniture now for many years, bad for dealers but great for collectors.
By the way, Brunk was the house where last month, a lady that bought a pipe box for $154 at an antique mall in bell buckle tenn., brunk sold it for $34,500.
http://www.maineantiquedigest.com/stories/index.html?id=694

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james conrad July 13, 2008 at 1:02 pm

On a similar note, i have been kicking myself over 2 pieces i lost earlier this year. One was a pa. paint decorated dower chest with native carolina parrots as the main theme ( i didnt even know there were native carolina parrots till i saw this chest, they are now extinct). The chest went for 1550 and my bid of 1500 lost in last 5 seconds on Ebay.
The second piece was a Virginia coastal william & mary circa 1740 desk on frame that was right as rain, sold by Motley’s in richmond, it went for $1750. Auction estimate was 4-6k.
These are my latest short sad stories but hey, as a collector of almost 30 years i cant remember when so many fine pieces were selling so cheap.

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woodwright July 14, 2008 at 10:51 pm

If you feel queasy about the credenza selling for $1,500 – just imagine how the owner/ seller must have felt. I’m sure he/ she felt even queasier! On top of having it sell for dirt – he still had to pay a commision to the auction house from his paltry sale price.
I really admire the workmanship and design that goes into these credenza’s – they are almost always very elaborate. Consistently nice veneers, marquetry and carvings all come together in a great looking cabinet. But as you stated in your post they are not very functional for as much space as they take up and what they generally cost (this one was an exception in the cost department). Small areas, all behind doors – not display area or even great storage. The tops generally have a raised/ elevated center display area and do not offer a large functional/ flat surface for use or display either. woodwright

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