Art Deco? What?

Katrinka_FidoAugust 20, 2011

Here I am again with a stumper. 3" diameter x 3.5" tall brass something. I saw a pair on an antiques auction site-same size, shape, design, patina of the brass EXCEPT top part was solid & back flush, called Art Deco bookends. This thing looks related somehow but the center screwed down piece doesn't make sense.First thought was to hold letters, (mail). Again center think throws me off. What is it? Im not sure I even believe Art Deco. Any idea? No maker marks.

Again, thanks in advance.

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lindac

Match holder....the match box went into the slot between the square things and the burned matches into the tray. you could slide the match box open without removing it, the striker on the box was up so you could strike the match withoug removing the box and dispose of the spent match.
Most likely kept near the fire place.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 4:43PM
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Katrinka_Fido

Thanks lindac, is it Art Deco era?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 5:45PM
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lindac

Who knows....deco....arts and craft.....or just 1940-ish.
Dates from the time of the slide matchboxes with the striker on the side. I've seen them in porcelain or china but not in brass...except this one...

Here is a link that might be useful: similar but different.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 6:22PM
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Mikk

Yup. Not the first one I've seen in brass, but surely isn't typical, and certainly one of the more ornate. Ceramic, glass or tin is mostly what you see.

Pretty attractive design though and doesn't appear to have seen much use.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 6:51PM
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Katrinka_Fido

THANK YOU SO MUCH! For the link, for the year'ish. MAN are those prices ridiculous. I probably would have priced 50 cents at best not knowing what it was. I've already made some MAJOR under pricing goofs & later kicked myself when I found out what I sold. Would it be not as 'collectible' if I cleaned(shined) it? Brasso?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 7:13PM
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Mikk

I wouldn't. It already looks like it's undergone a not too distant deep cleaning.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 7:37PM
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Katrinka_Fido

OK I wont clean it but it was in a box wrapped in a newspaper grocery ad w/prices of Just Rite Bacon 49 cents lb, Gerber strained baby food 2/23cents, Ivory soap medium bar 11cents, fresh dressed fryers 79cents so before that would have been the 'not too distant deep cleaning.' Wish the top of the page was still there & could have given me a date. Store phone # Dial 4-8660. other ads have a 5 digit #. quite awhile back for Spfld, IL. I moved to the area in mid 60s and had a 7 digit phone # then.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 8:26PM
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Mikk

Obviously, it wasn't used much, or someone really took decent care of it. Makes you wonder if it didn't have some family sensimental value to it because household "useables", in brass, are rarely found in that kind of condition. Newspapers a great medium for long term storage, but phosphorus, potassium and sodium chlorate are really murder on brass. All in all, it's a really great piece.

If you plan to keep it, you might want to compare the recent photos you took with how it looks over the next several months. If the oxidation spots grow you might consider doing a baking soda press for a few days to neutralize the oxidation process, but if not, it really seems to be in remarkable shape.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 8:48PM
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Katrinka_Fido

Mikk, It has no sentimental value to me & probably going to sell...but IF I keep and oxidation spots grow....what is a baking soda press?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 9:29PM
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Mikk

Fair enough :-) I meant more about who had taken care of it so well before you.

A baking soda press would be baking soda mixed with just enough distilled white vinegar to form a heavy paste. You can compact it over the piece, wait 24-48 hours (wrapped in plastic wrap speeds the process), then rinse with distilled water and pat dry thoroughly. You CAN buff it with the paste to clean and polish the piece, but in this case, I think you're just wanting to neutralize the oxidation agents.

All said, if you're looking toward resell, you can sell as is and let the buyer worry about any future preservation I should think.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 10:23PM
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lindac

Please do not do any baking soda and vinegar press...
Just rub it well with something like a micro fiber cloth...if you MUST polish it.
But the spots that you call oxidation spots are spots resulting from the flair of sulfur from the striking of the match.
Rubbing with a microfiber cloth would be best.
And please be aware that the piece you saw for $175 is way over priced....a joke really!
If you wash it any source of oxidation won't any longer be present.
I repeat....please do not do any white vinegar baking soda thing....If you doubt what I am saying, try the process on a cheap piece of brass pipe or something. It removes tarnish but leaves an unpleasant reddish color on the copper.
Your piece is very nice....not worth $175....but easily $40....but don't mess it up.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 11:27PM
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javaandjazz

That looks very art nouveau to me.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 8:59AM
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