Just before Covid 19 hit and pretty much closed anything to do with antiques that wasn’t online, I had the opportunity to view several antiques at a 1906 farmhouse just out of town. Although there were several other nice pieces, what impressed me the most was a dining room suite from circa 1910.
The dining room suite is made of what is often called “Golden Oak.” Furniture in this style was made of quarter sawn oak which refers to the way logs were cut. If a log is cut into straight boards along the length of the log the resulting grain is fairly straight as well. If, however, the logs were cut into quarters and cut diagonally, what you’d end up with is the most beautiful grain which is also often called “Tiger Oak.”
Wood is no longer cut using this method because the waste is substantial. However there is another major advantage, besides its aesthetic value, to cutting wood with most of the grain at 90 degrees to the surface. It does not cup and warp. Boards cut this way will remain flat over most of its useful life. This is especially important for furniture that has a large surface – like a dining room table.
This suite consisted of a double pedestal table, with 4 extra leaves, eight chairs (seven chairs with a “carver”), a sideboard with classical pillars and a mirrored back, a china cabinet and an “assistant” server. It’s absolutely amazing to find such a large suite intact since this furniture stopped being manufactured for the most part by 1910.
The china cabinet above matches the rest of the suite. What sets it apart from many others that may appear similar is the detailing found in the columns on both edges and the beautifully cut lead crystal panels on the front and sides of the cabinet.
This suite has been in the possession of the same family since it was acquired at the beginning of the 20th century and there are no plans to sell or split the suite – something that makes this appraiser more than happy.