A collector of antiques recently took an antique cabinet along to the Antiques Roadshow while it was filming in Exeter. Philip Newbury had bought the 18th century cabinet for £30 from a salvage yard and decided to try and discover more about the rare piece, which is why he travelled to the filming of the popular antiques show.
The cabinet is a sample produced by a furniture maker, made during the 1700s of various types of wood. The experts from BBC’s Antiques Roadshow have told the collector what the cabinet would have been used for and a little more of its origins, but Philip is appealing to the public for more information.
According to the experts, the cabinet has been made from 158 types of wood but should contain 160 wood types. During the 18th Century, people wanting a piece of furniture would approach the local furniture maker and ask to see the types of wood that were available. The two varieties missing from the cabinet would have been from elsewhere in the world, making the item an expensive piece of furniture at the time.
Philip would like to know who made the antique cabinet, its history since the 18th Century and who had discarded it. Although an antiques expert may gain information from the wood type, it may never be possible to know the complete history of a piece of antique furniture. Far from being a negative thing, this lack of detail can actually enhance the mystique surrounding an item.
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