Collector’s Art Deco Chrome is back. Here’s what to look for | Antiques

From the 1920s to the 1930s, chrome products were called “poor man’s money”. Don’t worry, some of these were made in the Art Deco decades by some of the most important designers of the time.

From ornaments to everyday cooking utensils, it brightened up the homes of young couples who couldn’t afford sterling silver and was their favorite wedding gift. Back then, most items cost only a few dollars. However, much of the decorative furniture, like tables and lamps made by prominent designers, was expensive.

Historically, Chrome is Chase Brass and Copper Co in Waterbury, Connecticut. First manufactured by. The actual work is engraved with the Centaur engraving.



Russel Wright double tube vase.



These chrome pieces entered the consumer market in the 1930s. They were first offered in the Chase catalog in 1937. Most of the pieces were not only sold for $ 1 to $ 3, but were also sold for $ 1 to $ 3. designed by Russel Wright, Norman Bergedes and Rockwell Kent.

The famous “Manhattan Serving Set” in the shape of a skyscraper was designed by Bergedes. His shaker with eight cups and trays originally sold for $ 16.50. Nowadays, it can sell for over $ 3,000 at auction. Russel Wright Double Tube Vases are currently available at dealer prices for $ 4,500.

Industrial designer Walter von Nessen worked in a pursuit by designing many figurative objects, including elephant bookends. The discreet ashtray he designed can now be sold at dealer prices for $ 575.



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A pair of chrome glove ashtrays from Walter Von Nesen.



Many decorative pieces of furniture combine chrome and glass. Gilbert Road has designed many small pieces such as side tables and consoles. Today, 1930s consoles are priced at $ 3,999 at dealerships. Another prominent designer, Donald Deskey, used chrome for various items such as lighting fixtures. He is also recognized as an interior designer for the Radio City Music Hall.

Ruth Garth (1897-1952), a rare woman who works in chrome hunting, is known for her “incandescent lamp”. Archived at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.

Some industrial products designed for home use were Art Deco designed portable heaters or Sunbeam portable heaters. They were made of cast iron and chrome.

Recently popular are the pins, necklaces and bracelets that combine chrome and bakelite.

By 1935, there were many manufacturers of chrome items, from ice buckets to cocktail shakers. The most popular with collectors these days are often the whimsical cocktail shakers. Among them are dumbbells, ondori and airplanes. Planes from anonymous manufacturers have sold for over $ 4,000.

Other companies that made chrome items in the late 1930s included Libya, Kensington, and Manning Bowman. A popular item for collectors is the “superelectric toaster” manufactured by Superior Electric Products in St. Louis in the 1930s. It was a simplified take-off locomotive in the 1930s, combining chrome and red handles. in bakelite.

What to look for

The Art Deco look is recognizable by its geometric shapes, zigzags and stylized herringbone elements. For her futuristic look, the artist used vertical lines and geometric shapes, circles, squares and repeating patterns. The Chrysler Building in Manhattan is a good example of using these elements. Bright colors are mixed with silver, black and chrome.



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Chrome plated magazine rack by Norman Bel Geddes.



Novice collectors should be aware that there are many duplicates. They should also know the names of many great designers, the types of work they have designed and the companies they have worked for.

Judge the chrome piece by the quality of the design. Do you have a stylish 1920s and 1930s look? Is this unusual? A good example of rarity is the Rockwell Kent chrome object designed for Chase. He designed only three articles. The condition is important because there are still a lot of parts. If the object has plastic trims and handles, make sure they are not chipped or cracked. If you have a glass liner, it should be in new condition.

The artwork does not need to be created by Chase as it is worth collecting. Other companies have also hired name designers. Collector’s chrome was also made in Sweden, England, France and other countries.

With the advent of World War II, when metal was needed, chromium was replaced by aluminum. He returned with new and interesting items as a future collection.

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