An outstanding antique dining table made by 19th Century Shaker craftsmen has been sold for $198,900 (£126,800) at an American auction.
The shoe-foot trestle table was the highlight of the Jerry and Miriam McCue Shaker Collection, which was sold at the Hancock Shaker Village, MA, on the 8th September. Declared by the auctioneer as probably the most important antique Shaker table in existence, it was featured in a Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition in 1986. The cherry-wood and pine design, with wrought iron braces, identified it as the work of the Harvard Shaker Community, circa 1820. It was of a smaller size than would be expected of a Shaker antique dining table, suggesting it had been designed for use by the members of the Bishopric Ministry.
The table was all the more special because it was the first piece of Shaker furniture Dr McCue ever saw, purchased from a dealer in 1949 for $350. She made a note in the journal where he recorded all his purchases: ‘Buy the best — to Hell with the rest.’
The collection also featured two outstanding antique cabinets: a Sister’s cupboard which realised $122,850 (£78,300) and an infirmary cabinet which sold for $114,075 (£72,700). As with Arts & Crafts Furniture in Cumbria, items that had retained their original paintwork proved popular, with one antique box coming in at three times its estimate at $78,390 (£50,000).
Like sales in Lancashire, the antique dining table and other items in the McCue auction were subject to buyer’s premium. It’s often better to visit a good antique dealer instead.
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