Future Worth...

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  • Future Worth...

    We were watching the Antiques Roadshow and they had Federal style semi-circular card table featured. It was assessed as a North Carolina piece from about 1800 made by a craftsman of unknown name and was valued at $3,000-$5,000. It got me to wondering what our work would be valued at if it lasted over 200 years?
    Jim Frye
    The Nut in the Cellar.
    ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”

  • #2
    My guess is that for the stuff I've made the evaluation would go something like this. "That's really built solid and heavy. We'll charge you $80 to haul it off"
    Chr's
    __________
    An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
    A moral man does it.

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    • #3
      After looking at bunk beds in different retail stores and in homes of relatives with young kids - the bunk beds I made for my daughter 5 or 6 years ago should go for $2000-$3000 now. Solid, looks great too. They will be around for a while except for an F4 or F5 or fire.

      I have or at least my kids have some items I made and if they aren't destroyed in some way - should be around for a while and should increase in value. At least LOML and my kids tell me the price of cheaper made items with less detail on things they see in retail stores.

      I have a rocking chair that was made in the early 1900's in a community that was the county seat in the late 1800's, and is now gone. (It was a MS river town with steamboat dock.) I found the chair sitting out in the open air behind a store in the late 60's. Weather worn but great wood and some seat cushion left. Found a note with hand scribbled date of 1912 IIRC. The man I bought it from told me where it was made, and while he remembered the person he couldn't remember his name. The maker had long before passed away. I bought the old chair for $5.00 and took it home and kept it. In the late 80's with me overseas, my dad took it to a restorer in Memphis. Turns out that the wood was/is rosewood. Claw feet on the rockers. After restoring, a local doctor visiting mom and dad offered $1500 for it and that was in 1990. I still have it.
      Last edited by leehljp; 05-03-2023, 08:26 PM.
      Hank Lee

      Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

      Comment


      • #4
        The oldest furniture my parents had were some Haywood Wakefield pieces from the fifties. I took them from the estate and they remain in our basement, but I doubt they will hang around until 2150. My wife's parents had no real antiques and the things she inherited are also from the '50s. The Danaker tall clock is to be handed down to the first born female, so our Daughter will get it. Her daughter will then get it. By the time she gets it, it will likely be 100 years old. The maple Boston rocker that rocked my wife and her siblings and that I restored to original has an undetermined destination, but it will surely last to be 100 also. Still wondering if the things I made will be treasured enough to be handed down. Probably not a big deal as I got my pleasure from just making them.
        Jim Frye
        The Nut in the Cellar.
        ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”

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        • #5
          My parents bought danish modern for our new house in 1961.

          This Norman Chernier chair is sold at DWR current catalog for $949 and the Eero Saarinen table for $700-2500 still. Classic Danish designs.

          I have all four chairs.

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          I have this table in White and formica with black trim.
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          I wonder what they are worth ​
          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
          BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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          • #6
            My aunt, youngest sister of my mom died two year ago in Sacramento at 97. I had visited her house many times since the mid '60s. She and my uncle had purchased a Greene and Greene oak table and chairs sometimes in the early '60s. That table was very heavy and beautiful. I always commented on it when I visited, and she left it to me when she passed. Her kids didn't want it and preferred something new, and didn't see its value. One of my aunt's son in laws knew what it was worth, but his wife grew up with it and didn't want it. I asked my sister and brother in law who lives near there on his family's almond farm if they could store it until I could come and get it. They said yes. After a few months, I called my sister and asked if she would like to have it - as I (and LOML) don't need any more furniture at our age. My sister was very excited to have it.I told her that she could pass it on to her granddaughter when she got married if she wanted to.

            My closest guess is that the table and chairs are worth between $8000 and $10,000. My aunt took excellent care of her furniture. Her kids played OUTSIDE and not in the house!

            I don't have a picture of that table but the nearest I can find now is this one: https://www.barnfurnituremart.com/di...g94472482.html. My aunt's table does weigh more than the one in the picture. IIRC, my aunt said it weighted over 300 lbs. Massive.
            Last edited by leehljp; 05-03-2023, 09:26 PM.
            Hank Lee

            Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

            Comment


            • #7
              Below are some of the things my Great Grandpa built. He was a furniture maker in Rockford, IL. These pictures were taken when we were cleaining out my parents store room when they were selling their last house and moving to assisted living. My mom and grandma thought they didn't have any nice furniture, just the leftover stuff that didn't sell.

              This is a writing desk with birds eye maple veneer.​ (This is at my house) You can also see a dressing table and mirror in the background that went to my sister. I don't know where the little coffee table next to it ended up and I don't have another picture of that.

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              Cedar blanket chest. I wish I had a picture of the top. It is bookmatched mahogony veneer. This is at my daughter's house in SD.Click image for larger version

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              And a couple of random side chairs.

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              Chr's
              __________
              An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
              A moral man does it.

              Comment


              • leehljp
                leehljp commented
                Editing a comment
                WOW! Beautiful work!

            • #8
              These pieces of furniture were made in different times than we live in now. You would be hard pressed to find anything in a conventional retail furniture store that is not made in an assembly line factory environment, and probably not made in this country. Pieces that are made today and will have increased in value 100 years later will be those made by the craftsman you see featured in nicer woodworking magazines. Most of the stuff all of us make will no doubt last 100 years if the future children take care of it and not throw it away, but it likely will not bring the prices compared to pieces made 100 years ago.

              I’ve looked at a lot of 100 year old furniture, inspecting how it was made and from what materials were used. A typical 100 year old chair couldn’t be used today because the mortise and tenon joints have worn out due to design. The structure was not robust enough to preventing movement that stresses the jointery. It wasn’t built heavy enough like a throne but it had a useful life of 50 years. A lot of 100 year old tables are that way too. Even 100 years ago a lot of plywood with thin veneer was used. This stuff seldom makes it 100 years without something happening to the veneer. Their glue didn’t last that long either.

              I brought 2 tables into my shop today to try to repair that suffered badly from a mover company. Both pieces ae well over 100 years old and will only serve the purpose of being pretty and maybe a place for a corner lamp. Another piece I couldn’t fit in the car, a 150 year old rocking chair had both top side mortise and tenons had broken off and the sides split. It appeared to have been repaired several times in the past indicating too much stress on these joints. Out of the 3 pieces the rocker is the only one that might be usable once repaired. I’ll post photos later.
              Last edited by capncarl; 05-04-2023, 01:18 PM.

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              • #9
                The Boston rocking chair I referred to earlier had all of the tennon joins loose and the two screws that held the ends of the arms to the rear uprights were so loose from wear and rust (steel screws) that the arms wobbled after stripping and bleaching. I debated on pulling the entire chair apart and re-gluing it back together, but opted for something different. After dyeing the chair back to its original walnut color, I used a #0 artists brush and bled thinned polyurethane varnish into every joint until each would not take any more. Then the entire piece got oiled and varnished. The steel screws got replaced with brass ones. So far, the chair is still tight with daily use. The varnish didn't add any strength to the joinery, but it keeps it from moving in use and it should last longer than the original glue, which I suspect was hide glue given the date of the piece.
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                Jim Frye
                The Nut in the Cellar.
                ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”

                Comment


                • #10
                  Continuing on with the original question of what would our woodwork items be worth in 100 years. I don’t believe that most of what I have ever built will be around for 25 more years, much less having any value. Shop cabinets, tool stands, closet organizers, shed roof extensions, fences and the like will probably be torn out by the next owner of my house so he can have a place for a pool tables and his golf clubs. The period inspired barnwood dining table and sideboard will likely go to my children who will later give it to their children who will eventually have it picked up by Goodwill because it is unbelievably heavy and impossible to move.
                  My hobby business of building Tiny Trees, Tiny Mushrooms and Tiny Tables that are sold at several art galleries and specialty shops are a different matter. They are decorations and have little use except for being pretty and making the room more pleasant. I think a lot of the Trees and Mushrooms will make it 100 years. Their demise will be style changes where people don’t want that kind of stuff around, just as carnival glass bowls have done. My Tiny Tables are a useful decoration and compete for space in a house with store bought tables. Some will suffer the same demise when their owners want something more modern and different, but if simple design shaker style is still a thing 100 years from now then my Tiny Tables will still be around. I don’t look for their value to increase because of my name though, like a lot of the overpriced furniture has because it was actually built by Sam Maloof.
                  In a side note….It would take a large room to properly display a Sam Maloof rocking chair, which most people don’t have, they require a lot of room to rock…. But the owners of these rockers would probably have a coronary it someone actually sat in their chair and started rocking!

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                  • #11
                    I have a huge number of books, and in the past 10 years have noticed online books rapidly replacing printed books. I have also noticed that some of my volumes have doubled in price for good used over the original new price. They aren't printed in ink and paper anymore. Other one volume books (used) have double and tripled in price from the original - if they can be found. And these are not the famous ones found on Pawn Stars.

                    That principle of "not physically made" anymore will apply to real (solid) wood products in the future, to some extent, and to the distant future considerably, I believe.

                    I watched a video of a guy with a good hand plane making a long 2" wide ribbon, and the sound of the plane as it sliced through the long straight grain reminded me of carpenters of my youth and their work, and how it sounded. It is hard for the local guy to find wood like that now. Only the wealthy can afford to buy wood with that kind of grain. In 40 to 50 years, it will be even more rare. The wood items we have now, if made well and without blemish, will fetch a great price at auctions, and that is for items made from unknown woodworkers.

                    My youngest daughter, who will be 40 later this year, goes to places in and around Dallas noticing home made and hand made furniture of quality (and by unknowns) and the prices they demand. She knows two custom lumber companies that supply mesquite, cedar, pecan and oak in wide and thick boards. She notices the yearly jump in prices that out distance the normal inflationary prices. (She takes me to them when I go visit her.) That said, She collects and likes the "modern" look of the 50's and 60's, and often buys an old furniture piece and restores and resells it at a good market price. Good wood is not available at the local wood store or big box stores. Neither is good furniture.

                    I do believe the good wood furniture we have, we make or we sell will increase in value in the next 50 years. it takes at least100 years to make good wood; only 25 or 30 years to make mediocre wood that is reinforced for strength. People will know the difference in 50 to 100 years.
                    Last edited by leehljp; 05-06-2023, 09:01 AM.
                    Hank Lee

                    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by capncarl View Post
                      It would take a large room to properly display a Sam Maloof rocking chair, which most people don’t have, they require a lot of room to rock…. But the owners of these rockers would probably have a coronary it someone actually sat in their chair and started rocking!
                      LOL. You are right about that. Contrary to the owner, Sam Maloof believed that his chairs in museums should be "sat in" to reveal its full beauty. He didn't think of his items as eye candy only but to be used.
                      Hank Lee

                      Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

                      Comment

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