Monday, May 09, 2011
Educate yourself before you buy antiques or collectibles
Continental circa 1800's-Leather Panels
Pair of fine leather embossed panels that are mounted on an antique gold colored silk background. The leather pieces are framed with the most exquisite silver leaf frames. These panels can be hung as artwork in almost any location of your home." The price for the pair, a whooping $7,500 and this was the sale price.
I was asked by the purchaser of these "leather panels" if the price she paid was fair and she asked me just exactly what are these "panels."
Once I recovered from seeing the price she paid I began my expert appraisal of the "leather panels."
First I looked very closely at the edges and noticed the tack holes and by looking at the overall shape I knew immediately that these were leather chair bottoms. Beside the tack holes along the edge you can see where the leather was folded around the edge of the chair and tacked to the bottom.
They were probably painted after they were removed from the chairs because of the overall evenness of the paint color; there are no visible signs of wear as there would be if they were painted while in use on the chairs.
They very well could be from the 1800s and probably European from looking at the design. I think what happened is someone owned the chairs that these seats were on. The chairs were falling a part so they removed the bottoms, painted them and had them framed. You cannot see the frame in the above photo but it is a very contemporary frame, I actually have a couple of botanical prints in the same frame. I had them framed at a large craft store about 20 years ago.
These leather seats have been around for a long time, at least since the mid 1800s.Some were put on as the original seat in a chair but many more were sold as replacements for damaged cane seats. One could go to the "General Store" and buy one of several shapes and trim to fit over the broken cane seat and attach with the brass upholstery nails. You can get new leather or a leather "look a like" today but the choice of designs is limited.
As to whether or not these framed leather chair seats are worth $7,500.... hell no. I guess I should not say that as someone paid that very price for these items. I believe that the "dealer" who sold these pieces did not reveal the whole truth about the items, or did not even know the truth and just put a price on them and happened to luck out with someone purchasing them.
This is what gets under my skin, with the Internet we have so many un-educated people professing to be antique dealers when they don't carnival glass from depression glass. They then take advantage of buyers who are trusting the so called dealers to know what they are selling and putting the right price on the item.
Needless to say once the buyer got the inside skinny on the leather chair seats she was pretty pissed off.
*** I am an expert in the antiques category of JustAnswer.com, there is a small fee for asking questions but please feel free to check it out using the box on the sidebar here on this blog.