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Q. I purchased this brace of chairs for $180 at an bargain in Fort Erie, Ont., at the heritage-designated home of Brigadier-General Ernest Alexander (E.A.) Cruikshank. They were declared as “antique Gothic awakening 18th aeon carved anteroom chairs.” I don’t apperceive if the chairs absolutely belonged to Cruikshank. My assumption is they came from a abbey and the seats lift up for autumn books and such. But there absolutely is a affiliation amid the aboriginal buyer of the house, as acclaimed by the ancestry applique alfresco of the house. His wife, Julia Cruikshank, wrote a book partly about her activity at the house, “Whirlpool Heights: The Dream-House on the Niagara River,” arise in 1915. The acme of the chairs is 135 centimetres and the seats are 47 cm (53 by 18.5 inches) at the widest point in the front. There are no markings. I bought the book after on at a bookstore. The photo of her is allotment of the book and there’s additionally a signature by E.A. Cruikshank. The book may not accept amount on its own, but the signature may add value. Any ability and acquainted amount of these items you can accommodate would be appreciated.

Margaret, Fort Erie

A. Along with his abounding aggressive and borough positions and activities, Cruikshank (1853-1939) was a aggressive historian and abounding columnist who became the aboriginal armchair of the Celebrated Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (extracts from the celebrated plaque). He affiliated Julia Cruikshank (nee Kennedy, 1854-1921) in 1879, who additionally authored several books and was heavily complex with the I.O.D.E. (Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire) as able-bodied as acceptable her bedmate in his actual research. She ‘talks’ of her affiliated activity at the address of the Brigadier-General in her book and the photo of her was taken at ‘Maplewood’ — its bounded celebrated name. These books assume to accept been arise in low numbers by George Allen & Unwin Ltd.; two were afresh offered for auction for about $35 anniversary in animosity of them actuality about rare. But yours, actuality inscribed to a niece of Ernest Cruikshank and active by him, is admired historically and monetarily. The autograph of such a cogent actual amount makes this book worth, conservatively, $150. Knowing the actual acceptation of the author’s activity as able-bodied as the photographed bearings of the biographer — any writer’s dream — will draw absorption to this about alien book.

There is no catechism about the abounding ecclesiastical associations of your chairs. They could accept been in a alley of a abbey or rectory, generally alleged box bench chairs, for use as you suggested. They are based on appliance styles developed during the Gothic era of the 15th and 16th centuries. The abstraction is termed ‘flamboyant tracery’ and was about alone based on architectonics of the time because about no appliance or styles of appliance were developed or absolute up to those aboriginal times alfresco of churches and aristocratic households. The trefoils, quatrefoils and abounding arches instantly puts one in apperception of abbey architecture. Your chairs are not 18th century. They date added carefully to the aeon amid 1840 and the 1860s based on the turnings of the lower legs, casters and all-embracing brittle action of the chairs. This doesn’t cheapen them and they do arise to be fabricated from rosewood, a actual big-ticket copse at any time of production. I accept they are English. You bought absolutely well, based on today’s marketplace. Chairs like yours, after any accustomed provenance, are account $450. But there is ancestry to be accustomed through advice with bounded athenaeum and museums. It should be accessible to affirm whether these chairs were aboriginal acreage of the Cruikshank household. As such, your beauteous armchair brace would again be account $1,000.

John Sewell is an antiques and accomplished art appraiser. To abide an account to this column, go to the Contact John folio at www.johnsewellantiques.ca. Please admeasurement your piece, say back and how you got it, what you paid and account any anecdotic marks. A aerial resolution jpeg charge additionally be included. (Only email submissions accepted.) Appraisal ethics are estimates only.

John Sewell is an antiques and accomplished art appraiser. To abide an account to this column, go to the Contact John folio at www.johnsewellantiques.ca. Please admeasurement your piece, say back and how you got it, what you paid and account any anecdotic marks. A aerial resolution jpeg charge additionally be included. (Only email submissions accepted.) Appraisal ethics are estimates only.

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