What they may have lacked in amenities, though, they made up for in craftsmanship.
News from Wytheville:
Wythe blanket chest is sold for $99,000Well, I'll swan.
Antique bought at Tenn. auction by unnamed Virginian
By Wayne Quesenberry, Media General News Service
A rare, handmade Wythe County blanket chest recently sold for $99,000 at an antiques auction in Tennessee.
The piece was made in 1880 in the Black Lick community by Henry Huddle, a German craftsman.
"This was one of the finest examples of furniture that has surfaced from Wythe County," said John Case of Case Antiques in Knoxville, Tenn., who conducted the recent sale of Southern furniture, pottery and folk art.
"It still had the original finish. It was in extraordinary condition."
The blanket chest featured three painted panels, with dahlia flower and urn designs, plus two decorated circles on the top.
"It was originally built to hold blankets and quilts," Case said. "It was made at a time when houses didn't have closets." (link)
This reminds me of the upright wooden ice chest that I left behind when we were organizing the estate of one of Paula's deceased great aunts a number of years ago. An ice chest was a forerunner to the modern-day refrigerator, used with blocks of ice in the days before electricity was invented. I left it sitting where it had been for many years, for the new owners of her home to deal with.
I wonder what that might be worth today. As it was, we took an old pie safe that the old gal had continued to use until the day she died, that I then advertised and sold for a considerable sum.
The lesson to be learned? That old cabinet may look like junk, but get it appraised before you toss it on the trash heap. It may be a treasure. $90,000 worth of treasure.