Life in Old South Central Alabama

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South of Birmingham, Alabama, United States
I am an antique trader in central Alabama....I love old houses... My log home was built in 1817 by my ancestors Benjamin and Hannah Harless Wilson .............. Outside the house are herb gardens and lots of pass-along plants................ No one in Alabama is in a hurry about anything......... Visitors think that the garden needs weeding and the furniture needs polishing....I am a direct descendant of Joseph Towne, whose two sisters Rebecca Towne Nurse and Mary Towne Easty were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 as witches. I am also a direct descendant of Pocahontas and husband John Rolfe.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Primitives for sale in Alabama

  Several outstanding pieces are going on the block here in Alabama next Saturday at a local auction being held in a lovely old country town, and I hope that someone ( including me) will be there to give each of them an appreciative home. 

I can't buy them all, but I might be lucky enough to bring one home.

  I always keep the philosophy that if  I don't get anything at an auction, I can at least study what they have and learn something new.  

  Above is a cherry three door chest made by an early Southern cabinet maker sometime between 1830 and 1850. The pulls and the legs appear to be original.   

The drawers should have small elongated irregular dovetails with a shadow of the cabinet maker's pencil marks. 
 Here is the back of the chest showing its age and authentic wear.  If this one comes home with me, the first thing I'll do is take the drawers out and use a flashlight to search inside for the maker's signature. 


Sometimes they are signed on the drawer backs, bottoms, or sides. Sometimes there is evidence of a label or a stencil on the back.  If nothing is found, it's still good.
 Next is offered a pine pie safe. The tins appear to be aged and may not be original.  They are tacked to the outside of the piece, which I have never seen before.  It's still a beautiful piece.
 Here is the back, composed of only two massive boards.  Along the sides of the back, the square nails have caused the wood to turn almost black, which is exactly the way it should be and shows that the nails have not been added later.  So the back lets you know that the piece is real.
 A beautiful walnut open cupboard.  I think at one time it might have had bracket feet.  If this came home with me,  I would build a walnut base to set it on 


 It could also use a bonnet at the top. Wouldn't this be beautiful filled with crockery or Staffordshire?  


The top has no doors.  A closer look would reveal evidence of hinges taken off if doors had ever been present.
 Four large boards make up the entire back.  Since the back is solid and not in two pieces, that assures the buyer that the piece has not been married ( created from a top and bottom put together).
 This beauty is a walnut stepback cupboard that appears to have its attic finish. Notice how the bracket feet give the piece height ( imagine them on the other piece above and you'll see why adding them would be a great improvement).
 Here is the back view.  Once again,  the back shows that the piece started out as one and has not been married.  


Again,  the square nails have stained the wood in the last 150 years and will tell you where the shelves on the inside of the top part should be, in case any have been removed for a television.  


( Update: On sale at the June auction ) 

 WOW , a cherry corner cupboard.  Paneled, clean, and appearing to be  all original.  This should bring a fine price. Probably seven feet tall.  ( Update:  On sale at the June auction) 
 A small cherry 1850s four drawer chest.  It's bigger than it looks.  I am addicted to their beauty.  ( Update: On sale at the June auction)

That ends the Southern Primitives part of the auction.  


Below is something that I noticed in the auction listing which would be of particular interest to a Colonial lady whose blog I follow.

An English court cupboard.  I put this on here for Adam and Mary to see since I follow her blog and they just bought one straight from England. 


 Now in Alabama this will not get much attention.  There are no colonial homes here, no Cape Cod salt boxes,  and they don't fit well in the hallways of plantation houses.

1 comment:

  1. Oh goodness, love,love, love every piece! It is so funny you showed the backs. That is the first thing I look at when I find something I like! Would love to be the owner of that pie safe. I have seen the tins on the outside and was told by an old auctioneer, that was done by someone just building a "necessary" piece, not a craftsman. Made me love it at first sight. I will be going through Ala Sat, but unfortunately in a car with other people. Please let us know what some of the things sold for. I love the 3 drawer chest too. Well, didn't mean to write an epistle, but my heart skips a beat when I see such wonderful pieces.

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