Set belonged to prominent 19th c. citizen
AMHERST – She went out looking for a sofa.
“I fell in love with it,” said Wendy Smith, of the antique bedroom suite she wound up purchasing.
The hand-carved cherry set once belonged to David W. Robb, once of Amherst’s most prominent citizens in the late-19th century. Robb was the son of Alexander Robb, founder of Robb Engineering Ltd. Over the decades, the company produced everything from steam engines to artillery shells. D.W. became president and chief engineer of the firm.
Documentation seems to indicate the set was purchased by D. W. in 1854, although the actual age or origin of the set – which includes a double bed, dresser and commode – is unknown.
“I’m selling a piece of Amherst history,” Smith claimed.
The homeowner is downsizing and much of the contents of her current dwelling will be sold, including the set.
She said her fear is that, if the set goes to auction, it will leave the province, possibly even the country. A few years ago she went by the county museum to see if she could track down descendants of the Robbs, but had no luck.
Smith said antiques owned and used locally are “harder and harder to find these days.”
“They have an intimate connection with history in our areas.”
The set can be viewed Sunday afternoon.