The auction from the last post was not a great auction, there were no wonderous pieces of furniture. Many nice ones but nothing that jumped out and screamed “Take me to the Met.”

In the absence of greatness, I look for interesting details. Things done differently or things not typically done. I always wonder if these different approaches are naive or brilliant. Did they not know how things were done or not care how others did it. No clue or different inspiration

There were a few items that had a unique approach to curves. First up is this:

Chippendale Style Dressing Table

Description:  19th century, oak, shaped dish top, single serpentine drawer, cabriole legs with ball and claw feet.

Size: 29 x 30 x 18 in.

Condition: Restoration including the drawer being reworked, later glue blocks, break and repair to back right leg; insect damage; surface stains.

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This lot has sold for $110.

To start things off, the ball and claw feet are a bit different:

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That’s not how they did it in Newport.

The drawer has been reworked?

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How was it before the reworking. No dovetails yet I took a picture of it.

The serpentine drawer front caught my eye:

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A drawer front you don’t see everyday.

A sawn serpentine drawer front is not unique. What is unique is how thin the drawer front gets:

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it gets down to below 1/2″.

I do like the bail pulls:

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Seems to be original.

Next specimen is quite a bit taller:

William IV Mahogany Bookcase

Description:19th century, two-part form, mahogany, mahogany veneer, oak and pine secondary, applied cove molded cornice, two hinged glazed doors with original wavy glass open to two louvered shelves, over an ogee drawer, two paneled doors with flush base.

Size   94 x 43 x 18 in

Condition: No key; surface wear; top surface to base with looseness.

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Taller than your average bookcase.

The only curved thing on it is the, as they call it, ogee drawer. Looking at is in profile you see:

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Dovetails look kinda funny.

It looks like it started life as a squared drawer to which bits have been added and removed:

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Used to be square.

Staring at it for a while, I think I might have figured out how they did it. It started out as a drawer with a square profile. The baseline looks like it was made by a marking gauge which would require a flat front. Moldings and fillets were attached and the drawer front was then given the ogee profile. The through dovetails were hidden behind a thick veneer on the concave surface.

The third curve is the first kidney-shaped server I’ve ever seen.

English Regency Concave Mahogany Server

Description: 19th century, mahogany, oak secondary, top with applied gallery, two drawers over two tambour doors, shelved interior, on flush base.

Size: 39 x 50 x 22 in.

Condition: Right tambour door with loose panels; surface scratches; shrinkage crack to top; other wear.

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This lot has sold for $400. The figural humidors not included. They sold for $310.

The tambour doors were a bit stiff. Now knowing how the non-existent Pottery Barn Rule (You break it, you bought it)  applies at an auction, I wimped out and chose to use their picture to show it closed:

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Tambour doors closed.

The joinery might be a bit coarse but it has lasted for 200 years:

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Not perfect nut good enough.

Interesting way that the lower shelf boards installed on a bias:

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Nothing straight about this server.