Antique corner washstands
Antique and vintage corner washstands are collectible items of antique furniture designed to fit neatly into corners of rooms to enable users to wash themselves. They are often multi-layered and generally include a small hole on the top shelf where a saucer and jug of water can sit.
Many of the most collectible pieces are British or American from the 19th century, crafted from mahogany.
As plumbing in households became more widespread in the 20th century, the use of corner washstands diminished.
Antique or vintage?
Corner washstands produced more than 100 years ago are classed as “antique” according to the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act’s definition.
“Vintage” refers to pieces manufactured within the last 100 years and can include items made as recently as the 1980s.
How much are antique corner washstands worth?
The finest pieces, still in good condition, can sell for more than $10,000. The least collectible antique corner washstands have sold for less than $100 at auction in recent years.
Notable sales of antique corner washstands
A circa 1795 to 1805 mahogany inlaid corner washstand, probably from Boston, Massachusetts, achieved $7,000 at a Skinner auction in February 2006.
A George III (1738 - 1820) corner washstand, achieved $1,680 at a Sotheby’s New York auction in October 2005.
An inlaid mahogany three-drawer corner washstand, made in Massachusetts between 1800 and 1815, sold for $13,200 at Sotheby's in January 2002.