Sideboard, 1800–1810
Cherry, other fruitwoods (?), maple or holly, poplar, sycamore (?), other woods
Purchased with funds from the Alice Speed Stoll Accessions Fund  2017.5

How much will it cost? $15,000

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Like a luxury car, this sideboard sports all of the extras, including richly figured veneers and an elegant, curving profile. Unfortunately, those beautiful veneers developed splits over the centuries that need to be stabilized and centuries of grime need to be carefully removed. The sideboard has a number of secrets to tell, too. With some art conservation CSI, we can identify its unusual woods using microscopic analysis. We can also take tiny samples of the sideboard’s surface to see what kind(s) of finishes were applied. A distinctive red wash hides inside the piece and may have once been applied to its surface. Chemical and microscopic analysis can reveal the composition of the red wash and give us clues as to why and when it was applied.