I’m always on the lookout for Victorian furniture of note that is “hiding” in obscurity, either behind a coat of paint or a unknowing seller description. Here was a recent one that showed up on Ebay, disguised long enough for future decades until now when it would be rediscovered and restored.
While it is not a hidden Herter Brothers’ piece, it is still a maker that I enjoy collecting. This is a Kilian Brothers table that is well known from the catalog images previously posted here on Rare Victorian and captured in a May 1999 issue of Magazine Antiques. I almost bid on it during the time it was in the $100 range, knowing it would cost me several hundred more to get it back to original glory but I let this one go and it ultimately sold at $355.
I have a weakness for these damaged goods to the point where I am unafraid of losing money in the transaction to get the piece back into circulation in the condition it should be for another 100 years of life. Visions of unbelievably good Victorian-era furniture burned in bonfires and set out on the curb for trash pickup in decades past probably influences that tendency. I forgot to mention in this earlier post that this signed piece by Thomas Brooks was found on the curb for trash pickup in Brooklyn by the owner’s father 50 years ago!
Hopefully the new owner of the Kilian table purchased it with the intent to get it back to a better state. Here is an unpainted version with differing hardware on the side panels.