Web Appraisal: Wakefield Rattan Company Furniture, ca. 1875


GUEST: The furniture is, uh, my understanding
it’s made by the Wakefield Rattan Company in Boston, Massachusetts, sometime prior to
1897. I purchased it from a friend of mine a few
months back and I gave her $300 for the three pieces. I was trying to clean it up. I turned the chairs upside down and I found
the original labels underneath both of the chairs. I know there’s some damage especially on that
chair. And I’ve talked to repair people, but after
I decided to come to the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, I had seen so many shows where people had
done repairs to stuff before the show and they regretted it. So, I decided to wait until after the show
before I decided what to do. APPRAISER: You’ve covered a lot of stuff there. You’ve done a lot of my job for me. But, so as you noted, all three pieces are
labeled, uh, Wakefield Rattan Company. That is the predecessor to Heywood Wakefield
Company… GUEST: Right. APPRAISER: …which is one of the best known
furniture makers in American history. The rattan was discovered, if you will, as
packing material that came in with the ships from the Orient. GUEST: Right. APPRAISER: And it was discarded on the docks
and some people figured out you could make furniture out of it quite effectively and
beautifully. These pieces date to post-Civil War, perhaps
1870s or maybe into the ’80s. GUEST: Okay. APPRAISER: So they were made well before the
merger of Heywood and Wakefield. These three, although they have some damage,
they have spectacular color. They’ve almost always been refinished, or
stripped, or painted. But these have wonderful original color which
is very appealing to collectors. GUEST: Right. APPRAISER: I just want to refer to the aprons
down here. The work is amazing. GUEST: It is, yes. APPRAISER: All of this stick and ball work,
the decorative work in both the table and the chairs. And what’s really remarkable, if I tip this
forward a little bit, you can see that the condition of the top is prefect. GUEST: Right. APPRAISER: And that’s unheard of. They never survive like that. And how much were you told it would take to
restore it? GUEST: About $1,500. APPRAISER: I wouldn’t hesitate to restore
them. If it cost you $1,500 to restore them, I can’t
say that that would come back again. GUEST: Right, yeah. APPRAISER: And increase in the value. But, it would certainly stabilize them and
prevent further deterioration. GUEST: Correct, yes. APPRAISER: So, I think it’s a good idea. GUEST: Okay, yep. I’m going to do that. Yes, for sure. APPRAISER: Because of how good these pieces
are even though the condition is not perfect. GUEST: Right. APPRAISER: Their color, the completeness,
the extraordinary form of all of them, I would say a $5,000 retail price would not be out
of the question. GUEST: Oh my gosh. I knew they were special.

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9 thoughts on “Web Appraisal: Wakefield Rattan Company Furniture, ca. 1875

  1. That old gal looks like she has had her fair share of cock in her day!
    She has some fire in her!

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