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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Vintage Rattan Furniture


Ornate Rattan
Ornate Rattan  
Project 2
Project 2  
QUESTION: This piece has been in the family for over 100 years.
We know nothing of its origin, save relatives ownership.
It is in good appearance considering the age and we are
unable to classify it as a give name sort of free standing
article of furniture.  We are interested in it's particular
value(s) and origin.  Two photos accompany.  Thank you!

ANSWER: It is a wicker etagere.  probably 1890-1900.

use the followup function and take a picture of the rear and one of the wood shelf.


this is as good as i have seen!!  goosebumps abound!!

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page 2
page 2  
page 1
page 1  
QUESTION: In way of further description ~ the shelvings shown are butted pieces of wood, not glued.  What may appear as a crack in the photos are the seams.  You will undoubtedly be familiar with the nailed method of
finish as shown in the underside photos.  The display stand has never been refinished nor treated with modern spray enhancers.  You will note
a little surface discoloration on the top shelf.

ANSWER: As quality and high styled as this is i suspect that at one time the shelves were glued up as one.  i can see where the construction is as i would expect for a piece like this.  I believe this to be 1870-1890 and in original natural condition.

No label or any indication of where one would have been glued to the underside of a shelf.

Hayward Brothers, Wakefield Rattan Co (which merged with Hayward in the 1897), Colt Willow Ware Co, and other wicker companies did use paper labels.

i will check through the HW book to see if i can find one similar.  some of their catalogs are digitized online, will check there to.

the closest i have seen was from HW which were know both before and after the merger to make items like yours.

check the book "American Wicker, woven furniture from 1850-1930.

will do some research and come with a price but I will say if i had this in my shop, and my shop is not fancy i would price it at a minimum of 2500 or keep it.  these just do not come up for sale.

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QUESTION: Robert ~ we truly appreciate your followup and the expertise so lended.
Your comment regarding the under-shelf boards really does make sense in particular regarding the aging span.  I am very familiar with woods and one thing had concerned me regarding the dating period.  "Why the flat-head-round nails?  The shelf woods certainly appear original in tone, thickness and texture.  Again our thanks to you and will appreciate anything additional you may come up with and I shall also refer to the sources information provided.

         Richard Edgerton  <>
         (406) 652-2945
         Billings, Montana

These were added as support for the glued up shelves.  although wire nails or round nails were first used in 1877 in France I believe this to be of little importance to the industry in the US. We went from hammered nails to a couple types of cut nails to the round wire nails.

we generally recognize the transformation from cut to wire nails as 1890-1900 and in many "scholarly' journals it is stated s such. I know we can agree that all things overlap from the old to the acceptance of the new.  It has always been said that the circular sawing of wood in mills didnt start until around 1850 but that brings the question of why and how did the Dutch advertise a circular saw in the 1690s.  

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robert klein


In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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