July 25, 2021

Antiques & Collecting: Flag-topped table rare, not unique

“Unique” is a word that is often misused by collectors. It means one of a kind. There can never be a unique mass-produced chair, but there can be a rare one.

More than 20 years ago, the Kovels’ newspaper column wrote about a table with a top that was made to look like an American flag. A similar table is being sold by Woody Auction.

The Kovel table had 23 stars on the flag. Maine was the 23rd state, added in 1820. The table being sold at Woody has 35 stars, suggesting it was made to honor the statehood of West Virginia in 1863.

The 35-star table was marked by the maker: “Made & Designed by F. Wedin, Roxbury.” Recent research by the auction gallery suggests he was a piano maker from Massachusetts. Both tables were made of solid wood with inlaid stars and stripes.

The wavy edges of the 35-star table make it look windblown. It has a drawer with carvings of dueling pistols, side supports like anchors, cross braces like rifles, legs like cannons and cannonball feet. It is estimated at $20,00 to $40,000. It is truly unique.

I picked up what I think is a Currier & Ives print from a thrift store. I’m just trying to see if the name of the print is a legitimate Currier & Ives print. It’s titled “A Mountain Home.” If the title matches a real print made by Currier & Ives, I’d like to know if it’s a reproduction. I bought it for $6, so even if it is a reproduction, I wouldn’t care since I like the print.

Currier & Ives was in business in New York City from 1857 to 1907 and is famous for its American lithograph prints. Reproductions and fakes have been made.

“A Mountain Home” is not one of the prints listed in books that catalog the original Currier & Ives prints. It’s often offered for sale online, identified as a Currier & Ives print from 1890, but one seller probably got it right when he said it is “after Currier & Ives,” which means it was done in the style of the famous printmakers.

Current Prices

Weller, coppertone, beaker-shaped, bright green mottled glaze, c. 1975, 6 inches, $125.

Banjo clock, Federal, inlaid, mahogany, 8-day brass movement, pierced brass side arms, c. 1850, 29 1/4 x 10 inches, $250.

Tramp art comb box, 3 tiers, mirror, Pure & Sweet cigar box drawer, porcelain buttons, c. 1900, 27 x 7 1/2 inches, $435.

Map, Rocky Mountains, Oregon and North California, lithograph on paper, John Charles Fremont, 1845, 33 x 54 1/2 inches, $685.

Tip: Permanent marker stains can be removed from most wood or textiles by wiping with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol.

Terry and Kim Kovel

For more collecting news, tips and resources, visit www.Kovels.com. © 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.