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Don Buttfield Chess Table & Pieces 1978


Catherine Ronan

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Catherine Ronan
Occasionally you can find a great deal on eBay. This one blew me away because when I accidentally found it there weren't any bids and only one day left in the auction. Surely it had been up there for at least a week. The starting price was very low. Sadly for the seller, she had misspelled Don Buttfield's name in the title. So perhaps anyone who searches for his work would not have been notified. I really can't figure out any other reasonable explanation for the lack of bidders. Plus, you never see his work for sale on eBay. Actually, this is the first time I have seen anything of his for sale at all.

 

I first saw his work in a book by Virginia Merrill and Thelma R. Newman called The Complete Book of Making Miniatures for Room Settings and Doll houses, Crown, 1975. That book was what caused me to fall in love with miniatures. It was my first exposure to truly fine collectable pieces.

 

I was excited but somewhat wary about the auction so I called William Robertson to ask him what he thought of the piece and ask him what he thought it was worth. He and I watched the count down as I won the bid I made the day before and for much less than half of what it is worth. I was so shocked someone wasn't out there waiting in the wings to snag it from me in the last few minutes/seconds.

 

The table is made of cherry and the pieces are ebony and ivory

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WeekendMiniaturist

Congratulations Catherine on finding your rare chess set.  I know that you will enjoy your new treasure and it looks exquisite on your Aunt Olga rug. 

 

I have enjoyed finding the occasional eBay treasure for things I never thought I would have the opportunity to purchase.  The treasure hunt brings a lot of joy for collectors and relief when it is finally delivered to your doorstep.

 

Tamra

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ElgaKoster

A really lovely find Catherine, I have that book too, one of the first I bought, I have actually forgotten about it, back then I knew nothing about IGMA and the names of people like Don Buttfield and Paul Runyon meant nothing to me.

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MeezerMama

Wow!  What a treasure.  Great catch to see that on eBay.  And ditto what Tamra says - it does look exquisite on your Aunt Olga rug (or maybe it looks exquisite because of your Aunt Olga rug :) )

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  • 2 weeks later...

Congratulations Catherine! That is a fantastic find, you display it beautifully as well among some other treasures. Who made the large table in the back? 

i'm often on ebay trying to find a miniature which interests me, I always use the search words miniature artisan and Igma miniature. What do you guys use? i try to filter out the manufactured  and mass produced stuff. 

 

Ahmed

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  • 2 weeks later...
Catherine Ronan

Ahmed,

 

I found the chess table by accident. I was looking at something else and the photo of the chess table was another suggestion below it. the drop leaf table behind it was made by Roger Gutheil. It was a very early piece of his from the 1970's I believe.

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