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Doris, Antiques Appraiser
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 9955
Experience:  Antiques store owner 10+yrs.Best of City Two Years. Collector 56+yrs.USPAP compliant. Member AOA.Founded part of antiques, silver & art collection at local museum.
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I have a walnut tilt top table I inherited. I don't have any

Customer Question

I have a walnut tilt top table I inherited. I don't have any paperwork, but in pencil on the underside is written "This table first belonged to Robbert Hoskins". My sister is checking her geneology records to let me know his date of birth/date.
Would like to sell the table and I wonder the best place to sell it.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Antiques
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The table came from New England.
Expert:  Doris replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is Doris.
I have been an antiques and art collector as well as a dealer and appraiser for over 56 years.
I will be pleased to help you. Please know I do not send pop-ups. Thoughtful responses take time.

Thank you for the picture of the tilt mechanism. That is one of the keys to value.

What is the diameter of the top?

How many screws were used?

Do the heads of any screws look even?

What condition is it in?

May I have a photo of the feet?

If you cannot get a good photo, then sketch the marks and take a photo of the sketch.

To send photos you may use the "add files" in the blue box link on your reply page or the "paper clip" found in the toolbar you see on your reply page.
Please do not send in ZIP format. The jpg or jpeg format works best.

An explanation of this method can be found here:

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Diameter of top is 33"
16 screw holes to attach the wood pieces to the table top; not all the screws are there
Not sure what you mean by even screws
It is in great condition. Obviously it has an old finish.
Expert:  Doris replied 11 months ago.

I do not accept requests for phone calls. I give my best answers in thoughtful writing.

Besides, you will have an assessment to print out. There are extra charges for phone calls. I do not send pop-ups.

Do the screws look handmade?

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Attached is a picture of one of the screws that are on the table
Expert:  Doris replied 11 months ago.

These were made after 1860. Machine made screws were not widely used until the turn of the century.

You table was probably made about 1870-1880 when the Centennial period celebrated 100 year old furniture styles. (1776-1876 - 100 year anniversary of Declaration of Independence.)

My research indicates that the table would have an estimated retail value of $1500 assuming good condition and depending on sale geographic location.

Online auctions like eBay generally bring wholesale selling prices.

If you would like to sell close to estimated retail, some ideas are:

The internet has your largest audience of buyers. Place small ads on these sites or set up your own small store on these sites.

Be sure to specify local pick up only for large items. That way the buyer would be responsible for obtaining his own insurance and transport.

These sites carry antique as well as vintage items.
Accept PayPal only. - small fees - 20 cents to list plus 3.5% final price.

These sites are excellent and more upscale but fees are higher. I only recommend them if you have several items to sell.

Or your nearest where you can list items for free. Accept cash only.

A method that could be very effective would be to place a classified in the "Maine Antique Digest" It has a large readership of collectors all across the country.

I highly recommend this method. They only charge $25 for 25 words in a classified ad. This publication is a monthly newspaper as well as on their internet website.

In general, a private seller to a dealer, via consignment or at auction can expect 30-50% of estimated retail value.

Insurance replacement values are usually about 20% more than retail values.

I hope I have helped you.

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Kind regards.


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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Doris, I'm confused on your discussion about screws. You state the screws were made after 1860, but then you say machine screws were not widely used until the turn of the century. Are the screws machine made?
Expert:  Doris replied 11 months ago.

They were used in 1870 in many pieces of furniture but not in every piece until 1900. Also, there are no signs of hand planing. The furniture made in 1900-1910 was generally much heavier in look....the Edwardian period or the more free form of Art Nouveau. There is a possibility it could be 1920s but the furniture during this period tended toward the more severe Art Deco styles.

I feel it tends toward one of the more classical styles of the Centennial period.

I hope this answers all your questions.

Kind regards,


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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Could it be possible that the screws were replaced along the way? Aside from the screws, what other indicators would establish it's age?
Expert:  Doris replied 11 months ago.

The screws have not been replaced.

If the table were later in the 19thC, we would get into more decoration with emphasis on curved edges with nature themes - the Art Nouveau period. Also, it does not show any of the heavier elements of earlier Victorian furniture or of the later Edwardian period of the early 20thC. It is more like the Georgian revival styles of the 1870s- early 1880s.

I recommend the book Encyclopedia of Furniture by Aronson.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,