• 13 Apr
    2013

The Collector’s Minute: The Minimalist Barcelona Chair

The Barcelona chair is a stylistic icon designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, known for his minimalist glass-box architecture. The same principles that guided his building designs he applied to this chair: simplicity, strength and lightness. This type of chair, probably his most famous creation, was originally made for the Barcelona’s International Exposition in […]

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  • 5 Apr
    2013

Here To Help: Furniture Advice From the Past

If you are a collector or dealer of Depression-era furniture, or if you simply inherited a houseful of it and you happen to like most of it, how would you feel if you ran across an article in a magazine with a paragraph reading: “It is a recognized fact among connoisseurs that little artistic furniture […]

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  • 27 Mar
    2013

20th Century Furniture Marketing: Small Deceptions a Matter of Style

We all know that, when it comes to advertisement or promotion, not everything we are told is always exactly correct all the time. Some of it is probably true all the time—the car is probably always called a Buick—but some of the other information might only be correct under narrowly defined circumstances. For example, it […]

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  • 21 Mar
    2013

Ask A Worthologist: The Unwanted Hand-Carved Desk

Anna B. inherited this desk many years ago, but its over-the-top styling had it in exile in the house. She and her husband have decided it’s time to downsize, and neither of their kids wants it. Not knowing anything about this desk, Anna wanted to determine what it was worth before deciding how to get […]

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  • 20 Mar
    2013

Refinish Your Antique Furniture? It’s a Question of Value

That crisp new $20 bill in your wallet is more valuable than the worn $20 you got as change from the convenience mart. Don’t believe me? Next time you make a purchase, take note of which bill you are inclined to give to the clerk. Chances are you will use the worn $20 and keep […]

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  • 11 Mar
    2013

The “American” Legend of the Rocking Chair

As Americans, we have a lot to be proud about in the field of furniture. We perfected the English idea of the Windsor chair. We developed several new styles like American Neoclassical, and the forms of furniture we have conjured up are almost limitless. But one thing for which we smugly congratulate ourselves is definitely […]

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  • 19 Feb
    2013

Desk? What Kind of Desk? One Must Be More Specific

A reader recently wrote me saying she had a desk that belonged to her grandfather that was more than 100 years old. What did I think it was worth? I think it was a waste of her time and mine to send a letter with such a paucity of information. What did she leave out? […]

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  • 11 Feb
    2013

Treasure Salvage: On The Way To The Dump

In today’s market, it’s not unusual to read about an auction in which jewelry is sold for the scrap value of the gold or silver. Aluminum and many other metals are recycled to save money on mining and processing, and entire cars are scrapped for “salvage” value. “Recycling” is a good “green” word in today’s […]

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  • 31 Jan
    2013

A Furniture Inventory: How Many Chairs Do You Have in Your Home?

Many years ago when my daughter was in elementary school, her teacher gave the class an assignment count the pieces of furniture at home. The idea was to get the children involved with the home and to be aware of what was in it. My daughter dutifully complied, carefully listing the number of chairs, tables […]

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  • 20 Dec
    2011

The Stranger Below: Silent Chairs and How to Get Them to Open Up

Some pieces of furniture are like an open book. A casual familiarity with the trade allows you to readily identify the period of a piece of golden oak or to correctly label a Victorian Rococo Revival couch. A number of technical elements can easily tell the age of a drop-front desk and a bed is […]

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