Rare Victorian - Centennial Benjamin Franklin Coat/Hat Rack
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Centennial Benjamin Franklin Coat/Hat Rack

benjamin franklin rack Centennial Benjamin Franklin Coat/Hat Rack

benjamin franklin rack Centennial Benjamin Franklin Coat/Hat Rack

Many of the typical Victorian hat/coat racks that you find in antique shops these days are mass-produced, utilitarian pieces that are fairly unforgettable. This particular one features a projecting Benjamin Franklin as the centerpiece and the entire piece is carved exceptionally well, not just the bust.  Someone took some time with this one and the seller is attributing it to the shop of Thomas Brooks.  The rack was likely made mid-1870s for the Centennial celebration.

Thomas Brooks had apparently incorporated Franklin into some of his pieces at the time, but I don’t know that the presence of Ben and the quality of carving is enough to tie it to Brooks.  As you can see from this bookcase which also incorporated Franklin, his appearance in furniture was not entirely rare.  You can see that the two “Bens” were carved in different manners, most probably by different carvers.

Regardless of origin, this is a better-than-your-average coat/hat rack.  More at the listing.

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1 Comments
  • Justin - March 19, 2012

    I found one of these Ben Franklin coat rack hunging on the wall of someones shop and I love the thing. I want to buy it but don’t know what to pay for it. Do you have any idea what a fair deal for it?

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