At Christie's last week, a Philadelphia tea table in a remarkable state of preservation sold for $6.7 million, three times the expected price and a record for Philadelphia furniture sold at auction. Experts say the table is worth every penny.
It had passed from generation to generation in the same family since its crafting in the mid 18th century. Most recently the table sat quietly in the family's Main Line, Philadelphia home until a local appraiser clued them in that the table could be worth more than the house.
Tea tables became fashionable in England as the tea trade with Asia gained steam. Upper-crust Americans quickly fell in love with the style and began commissioning their own tea tables from the finest Colonial craftsman. Historians tell us that in the 1760s, many important meetings relating to the planning of the American Revolution took place around these early tea tables, adding to their cachet today.