Antique Art Deco Vanity

bangschrSeptember 4, 2011

Hi everyone.

I have an antique art deco vanity that I am trying to identify so I can sell it. I know almost nothing about it. There are no markings on it. I can tell it is very old just from the look of it. The hardware that was used to make it seems very old. There are some weird curvy staples in the back which may give some help in dating it also. Does any one have any information on who made it and when? Or what it might be worth?

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Looks 30s Waterfall style.

Here is a link that might be useful: Waterfall Style

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 12:02PM
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Fori is not pleased

I've got a similar one in a bedroom set. Yours appears to be in great condition (betcha never kept a pet mouse in the drawer!).

For some reason these things have very little resale value.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 12:58PM
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Thanks ideefixe for the lead. Fori, I just stumbled on to this at an antique auction so I haven't had time to keep a mouse in the drawer. I'll try not to though. You say you have a similar one. Would the maker be the same? And if so, who made it?
Thanks to the both of you for the help!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 2:05PM
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Fori is not pleased

Mine doesn't have any manufacturing labels on it--I have a vanity, night stand, dresser, and bed. Not a label to be found on any of it.

My set came from a neighbor's garage sale when I was a kid--my dad said "hey there's a really ugly bedroom set down the street...". I love the stuff.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 3:55PM
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If you "stumbled" on this item at an antique auction, it's probably worth about what you paid for it. If there were few people bidding on the item, it says something about the popularity of the item. Don't mean to rain on your parade, but I have been a dealer for 40 years.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 11:19AM
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Well, there were'nt that many people at the auction. They were all bidding on items that they wanted for their home I think. I managed to walk away with silver, a never worn-still in the box 1930's Dobbs fedora, a new armoire and a few other items all for very little money. I paid $10 for the silver and sold it $420. I'm hoping the vanity is also worth something.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 1:36PM
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Waterfall in general, and vanities in general, are a dime a dozen around here and people have trouble getting rid of them. I would undertake to find a standard waterfall vanity (with a kneehole opening) for under $50 within a month on my local craigslist. In good condition.

However, an unusual exemplar will always get you a little more, as will taking the time and trouble to market it properly, whatever constitutes "properly" in your area. Maybe just putting it on craigslist and waiting long enough to get your asking price. Don't be deluded (a local craigslister has a shelf unit worth $60 tops that she has listed for $250 for about 2 years....), but wait, and watch what is going on with similar items and listen to what prospective buyers are telling you.

Yours IS unusual in that it does not have a kneehole. This is both good and bad. I don't know how you would sit at the thing without contorting yourself, but on the other hand, the format looks great! Would be more likely used as an entry piece or something. It is certainly pretty enough - a lot of waterfall stuff is butt-ugly, so you have an advantage there :-)

Karin L

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 2:53PM
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I agree with KarenL. A lot of waterfall furniture was really ugly (of course, they didn't think so in the 30's), and not so well made. Yours is unusual and quite pretty and in today's market it could be purchased by someone who wanted it in a special place (in the right house, the entry area would be perfect for it). I guess there isn't a knee hole or sitting stool because there's a drawer in front, which makes it even more unusual. I think you have a really special piece -- to the right person, the manufacturer or date isn't important. It is definitely Art Deco period by looks. If you really want to resell it, I would market it as "an unusual Art Deco period waterfall piece with mirror; in really good condition, suitable for accent use in your home or as a vanity in a bedroom." Post pictures, set a price and stick to it. Interested people will respond.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 7:19PM
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Fori is not pleased

I've been watching these for a long time (I feel like I need a vanity bench--I know there is one!). There are 2 basic styles of vanity I've seen. There is the bulkier type with a nicer mirror and then there are the skimpier ones with the round mirror. Sometimes these have kneeholes but usually it's just more of a dent and a drawer like yours. Nobody wants any of them.

If it's like mine (and I think it is), it's a step up from the $30 for a bedroom set. It's not "fine" furniture and it's not handmade but it's not really cheap stuff. Still, it's not unusual (although it appears to be in unusually good condition in the photo).

But look: here it is--someone SOLD a set! See the chair? Those are hard to find.

Here is a link that might be useful: some seller I don't know who sold this vanity

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 12:36PM
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