A Gaggle of Interests, February 28, 2010

In this series, the UAA team will list some of the interesting items that we have found in auctions, antique shops, shows or eBay. We neither own the items or, in some cases, have the capability of examining the items in person. It mainly serves as an inventory record of what interests us (not necessarily in terms of value or investment opportunities) and possibly how much it fetches (if the result can be obtained). If you are serious about some lots, please contact the auction houses, dealers or eBay sellers directly.

1. Griffin Trading, Dallas, Biedermeier Secretaire Cabinet

The shop’s proprietor heard a “wow” after my gaze at this when I entered her store. “If that wow was for the Biedermeier secretaire, let me show you the inside,” I heard, still looking at the cabinet. There’s lots of storage space inside, including eight hidden compartments. Biedermeier, a simplified interpretation of the influential French Empire, was an influential style of furniture design from Germany during the years 1815-1848, based on utilitarian principles. The shop dates this piece at about 1825. The simple lines and light colors allow these pieces to fit well into a minimalist modern living space. Here’s an article on the style’s comeback from Metropolis Magazine: www.metropolismag.com/ Biedermeier doesn’t come cheap, this piece is priced at $32,000.

2. Montgomery Street Antique Mall, Fort Worth, GE Monitor Top Refrigerator

If you told your grandmother, who was likely paying $10 a month for a $300 unit, that some day her monitor top refrigerator could sell for more than $1,000, she wouldn’t have believed you. Completely restored single door models sell for more than $3,000. These are neat, but I’m not sure I would give up what I have for a monitor top. I do know of someone who uses one exclusively, however. This is a General Electric model, perhaps the most recognized of vintage refrigerators. Most of these are plain white. I’m not sure when this model with yellow accents was produced. A warning before you go to pick it up; these things make piano’s feel light.

3. Montgomery Street Antique Mall, Fort Worth, Dallas Jacket

This brings back the 80s like nothing else. It brought back memories of my grandmother’s beauty salon where “Who Shot J.R.” was the topic for a summer. It also brings to mind that old commercial for the Bedazzler. If you’re like me, you’ll think this is neat, but the question of “where will I wear it,” may come to mind. Aside from a 1980s-themed party, I’m not sure there’s a good answer to that. This is a large jacket priced at $119.00, I’ll bet that represents more than a doubling in value in the last few years, and an amount that could just spiral upward from here.

4. Christies, New York, Fine American Paintings, Lot 177, March 4, 2010

It’s not often a portrait by Charles Willson Peale is offered at auction and at $6,000-$8,000 the estimate on this one seems low. The portrait is signed, dated and inscribed ‘Mrs. Sarah Bordley aged/yrs/54=7m/painted May 31, 1788 by CW Peale (on the reverse prior to lining). It’s former home was the Montclair Art Museum. It’s more likely this lot will bring in the neighborhood of $30,000.

About UAA Team

Urban Art and Antiques first published in 2007. If you are interested in becoming a contributor, let us know. Email urbanartantiques (at) gmail.com

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