asian aqua/teal secretary desk

shann84August 7, 2010

I got this item from my grandparents (they liked to buy unusual things). My mom says they bought it at the New York World's Fair, but I don't know if that's true or not. It's aqua, gold, and black. I could not find any signatures or writing on it anywhere. The boxes have numbers engraved on the back. I was just wondering if anyone has any insight on it or could point me in the right direction.

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It's Chippendale style Chinoiserie...I think it's terrific....unusual but n9ot unheard of....I sort of doubt if they bought it at the Worlds' Fair...but perha-ps saw one and went looking for one like it.
I hope you love it!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 10:26PM
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Unfortunately it's not really my taste, but would rather it go to someone who does think it's terrific. It is not in the best condition and does have some paint chips.

Does it look as if it would have any value or could be restored? What's the best way to go about selling something like that if it does have any value? Just take it to an antique appraiser?

Thanks for the insight!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 11:13AM
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It was your grandparent's. It's really very very nice....may i suggest you kee-p it a may grow on you....It's old...if you look that good at that age I will be surprised....a few minor chips are of no importance.
Give it a few months to grow on you before you sell it.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 1:44PM
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Unless you're in Houston, of course, because it's exactly to my taste!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 2:52PM
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Oh wow ... that's impressive. I love the tiger by the lock plate.

They could easily have gone to New York for the fair (1939 or 1964?) and come home with some furniture, not necessarily bought at the fair.

Check it carefully for maker's marks and construction techniques. That would be extravagantly expensive to buy today.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 1:09PM
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Good golly, that is a wonderful piece. Talk about a focal point for a room. I'd love to design around that piece!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 12:50PM
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My mom says New York 1939, but she doesn't always have a clear memory. I have searched the thing over for any marks, signatures, brands, or anything distinguising, but could not find anything, only an engraved number on the back top left corner (671). It is rather intricate and elaborate. The front two bottom feet look like dragon feet and appear to have a separately carved ball inside the claw. I would certainly assume it's hand painted. The drawers have small and perfectly fit dovetailing. The backing board looks like it was just nailed on. The insides are painted black. There are inlaid columns carved in the corners and if I had to guess I would say that it was carved with rotary tools (but I don't have anything to compare it to).

I've actually had the piece for about 4 years and uhauled 4 times with it (across states, up 4 floors of steps, in apartments, in storage, etc). I think I may have done some damage to it during all the moves. They had boxes and boxes and boxes of unusual things and I have other pieces and furniture from them that I have kept. This item is large and hard to fit in my small home and I can't even move it to a different room because of its size. Plus I don't like aqua and I think my grandparents would want someone to have it that treasured it.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 3:11PM
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I would be loath to put this up for sale until someone knowledgeable has looked at it. Did your grandmother purchase this new or was it an antique when she bought it? I would guess that it was made in America and the chioniserie was also done here. Any work on it should be to stabilize the case and the painting so the case does not collapse and the painting does not deteriorate, if that is the case.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 2:38AM
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