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Regency Style

Furniture revivals have taken place since at least the 19th century and probably earlier. New technology made earlier ornate styles easier and less expensive to make, and therefore more accessible to the average buyer. Some are difficult to distinguish from authentic pieces. If you see the word style in a description, it is probably a copy or revival piece, not an authentic piece from the period.

For example, this wine rack is described as Regency style. It was made in the 20th century, not the Regency period, and it sold for $813 at New Orleans Auction Galleries. The Regency period was from 1811 to 1820 in England, when King George III’s son served as Prince Regent. The corresponding American furniture period is American Empire.

Both Regency and Empire were influenced by classical art of ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. Mahogany was a favorite wood. This wine rack imitates mahogany with a dark stain on pine wood. The wine rack has a brass gallery on top and ring handles on the sides, features that can be seen on authentic pieces from the Regency period.

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Q: I have an L.C. Smith typewriter, serial number is 1386874B. Are old manual typewriters worth anything?

A: Lyman C. Smith and his brothers made guns before they made typewriters. They started making a few typewriters in their gun shop after 1884. In 1887, they sold the gun business and founded Smith Premier Typewriter Company in Syracuse, New York. It became L.C. Smith & Bros. Typewriter Company in 1903. The company merged with Corona Typewriter Company in 1925 to become L.C. Smith & Corona Typewriter Company. Personal computers replaced typewriters in most homes, schools, and offices beginning in the 1980s. Smith-Corona no longer makes typewriters; it now makes thermal labels. The serial number on your typewriter indicates it was made in 1937. Some old typewriters are collectible and sell for a few hundred dollars. A few rare typewriters sell for more than $1,000. Many common old typewriters sell for $20 to $50.