Moving an American 1850 Antebellum Sofa

Antebellum Sofa

We moved this sofa last week. The customer wouldn’t guess a dollar figure on how much it is worth–A LOT!! I’ve seen something like these in museums, and she said that actually 1850 American sofas are worth much more on the antique market than 1850 European sofas. Probably because there are fewer American sofas of this age.

This sofa is actually came from her ancestor four-or-so generations back, who lived on a Southern antebellum plantation. This customer had other expensive armoires and wardrobes from Europe, but she said this sofa was by far her most valuable piece.

She told me the details on this sofa almost in a whisper. She related later that she didn’t want to go into too much detail about the origins of the sofa in front of the African-American moving workers, whose ancestors theoretically COULD HAVE BEEN SLAVES ON HER ANCESTOR’S PLANTATION!

To protect the sofa for the move, we first taped clean quilted pads around it, and then shrink-wrapped it. With newer, more common sofas, you can stand them up on-end in the truck. But WE WOULDN’T DREAM OF DOING THAT WITH THIS SOFA! Besides the eagle-talon style feet had been cracked and repaired before. So the sofa had to stay right-side-up at all times and we put it right-side-up on its feet at the end of the load in the truck. We had to make sure we had extra space, since the sofa was on its feet taking up a lot of room, and nothing could be stacked on top of it!

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