For this blog, I need the knowledge and opinions of my many expert readers. I know you’re out there.

I can hear you breathing.

You all know I will and have traveled to the ends of the Earth to bring you the most interesting furniture I can find. One morning recently, I set on a perilous 8.4 mile drive to a local auction house to look at an unusual sale of a single-owner collection. The collectors could be charitably described as eclectic. It is a most interesting assemblage of stuff I have seen in a while. I will cover much of it in the near future.

Among the most interesting was this item billed as a late 17th century English Jacobean Court Cupboard:


This lot has sold for $1900.

Carved center in the front was this:


Either a date confirming its late 17th century origin or the IKEA stock number as part of the BJURSTA collection.

Many marvelous things about this cupboard including this miraculous transformation from these frog leg hinges on the left door:


Frog leg, that’s really what many call them.

to these butterfly hinges on the right door:


A repair. Look closely and you can see the ghost and screw holes from the former frog leg hinges. Not clocked but close.

The really interesting features however are these columns:


Interesting that the turned column seems to have been mounted flush at one point in history.

Under condition, the auctioneer states that there are front columns with shrinkage splits. I do not believe that shrinkage splits would change the grain and the character of the wood.

The left column is the same:


Again, this is either an added piece that was turned to match or the column blank initially was a glue up.

Take a step back and look again. Is this just how the columns were made or was this a 3/4 column that once lay flush against a cabinet and was modified to stand proud?


Interested to hear your opinions…

The other piece is a bit less well executed with no real attempt to integrate the changes. This Edwardian Paint Decorated and Inlaid Satinwood Bed has been modified:


This lot has sold for $400.

with its fancy painted bellflowers:


Bellflowers: is paint easier than inlay or just different?

The modification is functional and not at all aesthetic:


They just threw in a few block to lengthen the bed. There is another block at the head for a total of three additional inches.


Another view. Interesting that the bed’s slats were dovetailed.

This modification was most likely made to accommodate varying mattress lengths that differ by era and region.