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Art Deco

The legal definition of an antique is that it is at least 100 years old. This means the art deco era is officially reaching antique status. The name art deco is believed to come from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) in Paris in 1925, but the style already existed by the time of the exhibition.

World War I is generally considered the end of the art nouveau period and the be-ginning of art deco. People were moving into smaller homes and wanted inexpensive furniture where form followed function. The new machinery, manufacturing techniques, and materials of the time lent themselves to the sleek geometric shapes that define the era.

This cabinet, made in Italy in 1934, shows characteristics of art deco style. It is constructed from smooth, simple, shapes in veneers, acrylic, and lacquered wood. Decorations are contained within the cabinet’s shape. Instead of ornate carvings, the cabinet has burl veneer, bands, and squared spirals of dark wood. The cabinet sold for $2,322 at a Cowan’s auction.
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Q: My son was in a book club in the late 1950s-early 1960s. They had the first editions of Dr. Seuss books. The books are in good condition. Are they worth anything?

A: Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote more than 60 children’s books under the name Dr. Seuss. Some of his most famous books were written in the 1950s and ’60s and continue to be the most popular children’s books in the world. Identifying Suess’s first edition books is a challenge. The publishers did not explicitly print First Edition but printed a copyright date. There are experts who can help identify books that may be valuable first editions. Recent high-priced books are And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street, Horton Hears A Who, and

How The Grinch Stole Christmas. They have recently sold from $300 to $2,400.

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