Sunday, August 9, 2009

Early American vs. Victorian

Victorian furniture is so incredibly gorgeous. Who wouldn't want a few walnut or mahogany pieces? The problem is that everyone wants something Victorian so that means the prices are going to be higher then usual even at a garage sale. I was at a garage sale last week that had some very dinged up but nice Victorian pieces and they still wanted over 100.00 for them. If you have a more traditional taste in furniture and love solid wood pieces I would urge you to look for Early American. You can find great pieces out there for great prices. I'm not talking about all those oversized veneered colonial pieces that were popular in the 60's but the classic pieces: Empire, Shaker, Phyfe, Federal, Early Colonial, Georgian, Windsor and so on. Many times you can find high quality Early American pieces at garage sales, used furniture stores and even antique shops for a very reasonable price. Depending on the damage the price varies. The table in the photo, top left, was purchased at a rummage sale for $5.00. It's important to know thy woods! You can tell if it's solid if the same wood grain pattern is on the top and underneath side. I recognized that it was a solid rock maple table and had the potential with a little tlc to be brought back to life. I stripped it and refinished it to match a pair of Windsor chairs I purchased at a local antique shop for 45.00 each. I never refinish chairs. It's the perfect size for a small eat in kitchen. Total price for the set 100.00 plus the re-finishing supplies that have been used for several pieces by now.

So who are the manufacturer's you need to keep an eye out for? Certain companies are always going to equal quality and timeles value. I have listed them in the order of my preference. I have to admit I have a thing for Pennsylvania House. I own 3 pieces and they are just as gorgeous as the day I brought them home 30 years ago.

Pennsylvania House
Ethan Allen
Tell City

Yesterday's garage sale find was an well preserved Ethan Allen Colonial Coffee Table, extimated era the late 50's or early 60's. It's looking for a new home on ebay.

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