Thursday, July 21, 2011

French Provincial Sideboard

Yesterday I received this email from Steve Chicoine about an experience he had with with an antique dealer.  He was discouraged by the situation, but definitely ending up on the winning end of the deal.

It is the design and craftsmanship that makes antique furniture unique and special. That and the fact that most antique purchases, by the nature of the business, have interesting stories.

Antique shopping is best accomplished through the building of relationships. You come to know these dealers as friends with a common interest. However, in the case of our French provincial sideboard, that was not the case at all.

This sideboard with its intricate carving, leaded glass and beveled mirror has brought much joy to me. I happened into a booth one day to look over some extraordinary pieces from a German hunting lodge. They were too large for my home and far too expensive for me. The dealers were extremely attractive and made every effort to appear to be well to do. They were a bit condescending, but I did not take it personally. It was apparent they treated everyone that way. When I took an interest in the sideboard, they made clear that it was a piece of junk that had somehow gotten into their crate shipped from Europe. They were all the more disparaging of the piece when I expressed interest. I might have raged at them, but I sensed a bargain. They taunted me to the point of suggesting I had no eye for value. So I offered them $100 and they accepted, still taunting me.

An expert appraiser valued this piece at $15,000 years ago. I have no idea what is worth now.