Tag Archives: rare furniture

Auction Highlights: A Rare French Canadian Chest of Drawers

Canadian Furniture | Antique Chest of Drawers

This antique commode looks like it could be American. It also looks like it could be French. It’s a piece of furniture that we don’t encounter very often at all, in fact. I first saw this little three-drawer bureau many months ago in a house on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

This piece was an interesting read from the start: an unusual piece of furniture, in a dark room, being used as a TV table. A closer look revealed one major clue: the secondary wood. Eastern white pine was used to make the drawer sides and the backboard. A gut reaction told me that it was a rare piece from French Canada. Only when it finally arrived at Skinner, in time for our recent Americana auction in August, were we able to examine it to the degree it deserved.

Rare & Beautiful Huanghuali Furniture

The chairs pictured here sold for $118,500 in the December 2011 Asian Works of Art auction. Why such a high price? They’re made of one of the world’s rarest and most desirable woods: huanghuali.

A member of the rosewood family, huanghuali stands for rarity, beauty and in today’s Chinese furniture market, high prices. It is believed that there are less than 10,000 pieces of huanghuali furniture left in the world. Because the wood is nearing extinction, and is now a protected species, supply is very limited. Matched with the rapidly increasing demand for Chinese antiques, prices for huanghuali furniture have skyrocketed over the past five years.