Colonial Revival Furniture Reflects the Past

By Anne McCollam

March 15, 2019 4 min read

Q: This is a photo of a sideboard that has been in our family since the early 1900s. It originally belonged to our great-grandparents and has been passed down through our family. It is in mint condition.

Any information you can provide about its history and value will be greatly appreciated. Also, since we plan to keep the sideboard in our family, we would like to know its insurance value.

A: Your sideboard is an example of Colonial Revival furniture. Colonial Revival furniture was factory-made from 1870 to 1940. Many manufacturers loosely copied American styles including William and Mary, Jacobean, Queen Anne, Chippendale, Hepplewhite and Sheraton. The era was rooted in heritage, historic preservation, patriotism, nostalgia and a sense of family history. People were weary of the elaborate ornate Victorian furniture. The Colonial Revival movement swept the country and peaked in the 1920s and 1930s. The spiral-turned legs with stretchers, geometric-applied carvings and overall straight lines of your sideboard reflect both Jacobean, and William and Mary periods. The wood appears to be walnut. There is a limited interest in collecting Colonial Revival furniture today.

Your sideboard was made between 1920 and 1930. An insurance value would probably be around $250 to $500.

Q: This diamond-shaped mark is on the bottom of an antique white ironstone soup tureen I have. It has a lid with a handle, and the bowl has handles on both sides. The overall measurements are about 8 inches high by 6 inches wide. I have always kept it on a shelf in my china cabinet and have never used it. An antique dealer who was a close friend gave it to me many years ago. I never asked her anything about its background. She passed away a few years ago, and now I regret not asking her more about it.

What can you tell me about its origin, age and value?

A: Your soup tureen was made in England. The diamond-shaped mark is a British Registry mark. The "IV" represents the type of material used. Just below that, the number "23" shows your tureen was made on the 23rd day of the month. On the right, the letter "L" stands for the year 1882. At the bottom, the letter "A" represents the month of December. On the left, the number four indicates the parcel number. Your ironstone tureen with a lid was made on December 23, 1882 and was part of the fourth parcel. The design was registered with the British Government.

Your tureen would probably fetch $125 to $150 in an antique shop.

 The Colonial Revival period peaked around 1920.
The Colonial Revival period peaked around 1920.
 This diamond-shaped mark was used by British Registry in England.
This diamond-shaped mark was used by British Registry in England.

Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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