Q I would appreciate any insight your writers or readers might be able to give me on what is supposed to be a Danish kitchen cupboard (or schrank?) made in the 1880s. My mother purchased it in the 1950s in Chicago from a woman whose ancestor received it as part of a wedding present. It is 92 inches tall and 47 inches wide and comes apart in two pieces. The lower section contains both drawers and shelves. Can you provide any estimate on what this piece might be worth, and where it might best be sold? Thank you very much.
– M.K., Fayetteville, Ark.
A When an article of furniture is referred to as a schrank, one is usually referring to a two-door clothes cabinet, of which one side has drawers and shelves and the other side an open space for hanging clothes. These were made by the Pennsylvania Dutch during the 19th century. I asked Andrew Richmond, vice president of Garth’s Auctions of Delaware, Ohio, how your cupboard differs from a traditional schrank cupboard. He offered the following evaluation of the piece: “The reader used the phrase ‘Danish kitchen cupboard,’ but I suspect in the passing down from one generation to the next that was altered from ‘Dutch kitchen cupboard,’ meaning a Pennsylvania-German step-back cupboard. Such cupboards were commonly found in homes in Pennsylvania and elsewhere throughout much of the 19th century. This particular cupboard appears to date from the 1820s to the 1840s and is made of cherry. At auction, it would likely bring between $1,500 and $3,000, perhaps a bit more on a good day.”
Q My mom has this picture of the Lord’s prayer and The Ten Commandments. I know that it is well over 83 years old. It hung over my grandmother’s mantel for more years than that. My mom now has the picture. It has a wooden back on the frame and has never been taken off. I have been trying to find someone who could give us an idea of how much the picture might be worth. Can you help me any? I am attaching a copy of the picture. Thanks for any help you can give me.
– H.M., Burlington, N.C.
A Copies of your lovely print were hung in many American households at the end of the 19th Century and the turn of the 20th Century. It would take a peek behind the ornate plaster frame to see which company produced it; however, many were copied by printers and fraternal groups such as the Masons. Since the prints were produced in such volume and were likely cherished by their owners, original versions abound in antiques shops and online stores. Its value to your family is much greater than the $20 to $50 you may get at auction.
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