Tidwell Antique Auction – Kilian Brothers Table
Jerry Burrell gave me a heads up on an upcoming auction at Tidwell’s in the “extreme Southeast corner of Oklahoma” and it appears they have an affinity for selling items from our favorite era. I have not previously heard of this auction before so we’ll need to keep an eye on them as they appear to have 2-3 sales a year.
The next sale is this weekend and there are certainly some items of interest, but I wouldn’t go looking for Meeks or Belters or P&S in this particular one.
One item that caught my eye from a research perspective was the Kilian Brothers table to the left. It looks to have a veneer issue on the inlaid top and is missing the chains that would have strung between the legs. Finding tables with a complete set of chains seems to be very uncommon.
As you may or may not know, Kilian provided high-design furniture at a level affordable for the middle class. Their furniture was sold extensively at wholesale, and according to the Magazine Antiques article from May 1999 where this table is pictured, it is unclear whether they ever sold at retail.
This particular table was known to have been resold by Prudent Mallard of New Orleans – a far cry from New York – due to the existence of Mallard-labeled instance(s) of this table.
The May 1997 issue of Magazine Antiques goes so far as to say, “… from surviving documents as well as extant examples it becomes apparent that beginning about 1840 New Orleans was primarily a center for retailing rather than manufacturing household furnishings”.
This wholesaling/resaling greatly complicates the job of trying to unravel the truth behind who made particular pieces.
In one of my next posts, I will profile another example of this challenge in the form of a chair that recently sold that could rewrite what we know of “known” Henkels pieces.