Collectibles-General (Antiques)/hall tree


Hall tree
Hall tree  

Hall tree
Hall tree  
my son received this hall tree from his grandmother. Can you help us out and explain why the finish feels like plastic?? the piece has been in our family since 1970, any idea how old it is?

Pamela - The hall tree is from the turn of the 20th century - 1890-1910. It is made of quarter sawn white oak. It is part of the Golden Oak period of American furniture, 1880-1920. All of the "carving" is actually machine made decoration that has been applied to the surface secured with tiny nails.

The original finish would have been shellac which is an organic finish and tends to crackle and darken over time. That does not appear to be the case with this piece. It looks like the piece has been refinished or over coated with polyurethane. That would give a plastic appearance and feel.

Nice piece.

Thanks for writing.

Fred Taylor

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Fred Taylor


I will attempt to answer questions about American antique furniture, including construction details, style, period, manufacturers, care, repair and storage. I do not have any background in appliances, musical instruments, sewing machines, trunks, lighting, clocks or children's and baby furniture and will not respond to questions about those items.


I ran an antique furniture restoration business for twenty years. I am a nationally syndicated columnist on the subject of antique furniture for such publications as Antique Week and New England Antiques Journal. I have produced one video on the subject of furniture identification and my book "HOW TO BE A FURNITURE DETECTIVE" is now available.I have also published articles in Antique Trader, Chicago Art Deco Society, Northeast Magazine, Victorian Decorating and Lifestyles, Professional Refinishing, Antiques and Art Around Florida and Antique Shoppe. You can visit my website at

BSBA Finance, University of Florida, MBA Finance, University of Florida

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