Eastern Carolina collector refurbishes Renaissance furniture

Eastern Carolina collector refurbishes Renaissance
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 9:19 PM EST
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NEWPORT, N.C. (WITN) - At first glance, you might think Billy Deruise’s piece of furniture is something simply nice to look at. But he claims it’s much more.

“I said ‘oh my goodness.’ I grinned all the way back to Newport from Morehead City.”

Fewer people can recognize its true value, which is why it was almost gotten rid of until Deruise was called in.

“He has some stuff, and I said ‘are you sure about what you’re getting ready to do?’ ‘Look here,’ he says, ‘if you don’t get this, I’m going to let the owner have it and he can throw it away, I don’t care,’” Deruise said.

He said he discovered the Henry II Renaissance cupboard in a storage unit in Morehead City. It was sold to him for $300.

Seeing through the two decades of dirt, Deruise discovered a centuries-old piece from England.

“The way it was carved and the color of it... if you look at the backside of it, you see how they didn’t use a lot of fasting agents. They used a dovetail joint to put the back on it,” Deruise said.

He used his history buff skills and 30 plus years of furniture restoration to unlock the piece’s true value.

“History stuck to me like a bad shoe. I love to look past the people and see what was in there in the period of time,” Deruise exclaimed.

He explained the stained glass and intricate details signal it once belonged to a person of high stature. “Those types of pieces there were the type that went into the castles, in the bigger homes up there.”

Deruise estimates the piece could sell for anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000.

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