Sold: Huntboard


Unknown maker

Walnut primary and secondary woods with fruitwood and walnut veneers

40¾” high, 61” wide, 22¼” deep

Ref. No. 100512_029

This huntboard has contrasting fruitwood veneer (cherry?) around the center panel of the frieze that borders the walnut center panel. All other woods including the secondary are walnut. This board was sold in the late 1960s by Eleanor O’Rear from her late mother’s antique shop Wilderness Trail Antiques in Frankfort, Kentucky to a Lexington client. This client, now deceased, referred to it as a Kentucky piece of cabinetry. There is a disguised drawer without a hardware pull at the viewer’s right side of frame. Old refinishing with two circular patches (3/4” dia.) centering the top, these patches are possibly fills for screw holes that might have held a mirror or other fixture, probably added at a later date and subsequently removed. It seems unlikely the missing element was original considering the furniture form and the absence of a shadow on the top, which if there, would suggest a long occupancy. Otherwise it is in good original condition with no loss of height.

This board likely dates within the decade of the 1820s, probably being of Kentucky or Southern Ohio origin. Although the huntboard is found in all of the Southern states east of the Mississippi River (with the possible exception of Florida), it is an extremely scarce form to have been made in Kentucky. It would be even more unusual for it to be from Ohio, making Kentucky the better candidate for this example. Certainly the veneer patterns, turnings, woods, and overall sensibility would suggest the origin to be from the Ohio River Valley region. An urban interpretation of a vernacular form coupled with the scarcity of the form in our region makes this a very unusual encounter, and it happens to be good looking.