From the 1920s to the 1930s, chrome products were called “poor man’s silver.” Don’t worry that some of them were made in the decades of Art Deco by some of the most important designers of the era.
From ornaments to everyday kitchen utensils, it brightened the homes of young couples who couldn’t afford sterling silver and was their favorite wedding gift. At that time, most items cost only a few dollars. However, much of the decorative furniture, such as tables and lamps made by important designers, was expensive.
Historically, Chrome is Chase Brass and Copper Co in Waterbury, Connecticut. First manufactured by. The real work is engraved with the Centaur engraving.
These pieces of chrome 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 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 cocktail shaker with eight cups and trays originally sold for $ 16.50. These days, it can sell for over $ 3,000 at auctions. Russel Wright double tube vases are currently available at dealer prices for $ 4,500.
Industrial designer Walter von Nessen worked in a chase designing many figurative items, including elephant bookends. The discreet ashtray he designed can now be sold at dealer prices for $ 575.
Many decorative pieces of furniture combine chrome and glass. Gilbert Road designed many small parts such as side tables and consoles. Today, 1930s console tables are priced at $ 3,999 at dealerships. Another important designer, Donald Deskey, used chrome for various objects such as luminaires. He is also renowned as an interior designer for Radio City Music Hall.
Ruth Garth (1897-1952), a rare woman who works in chase with chrome, is known for her “glow lamp.” Archived in the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.
Some industrial products made for home use were Art Deco-designed portable heaters or Sunbeam portable heaters. They were made of cast iron and chrome.
Recently popular are pins, necklaces and bracelets that combine chrome and bakelite.
By 1935, there were many manufacturers of chrome items, from ice buckets to cocktail shakers. Most popular with collectors these days are often whimsical cocktail shakers. Among them are dumbbells, ondori and planes. Airplanes from anonymous manufacturers sold for over $ 4,000.
Other companies that manufactured chrome objects by the late 1930s included Libya, Kensington, and Manning Bowman. A popular item for collectors is the “Superlectric Toaster” manufactured by Superior Electric Products in St. Louis in the 1930s. It was a streamlined locomotive takeoff in the 1930s, combining chrome and red Bakelite handles.
What to look for
The Art Deco look is recognizable by its geometric shapes, zigzags and stylized elements with chevrons. For its 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. Bold colors are mixed with silver, black and chrome.
Novice collectors need to know that there are many duplicates. They also need to know the names of many top designers, the types of work they designed, and the companies they worked for.
Judge the chrome piece by the quality of the design. Do you have a stylized look from the 1920s and 1930s? Is it unusual? A good example of rarity is the chrome object Rockwell Kent designed for Chase. He designed only three items. The condition is important as there are still a lot of pieces left. If the object has plastic trim and handles, make sure they are not chipped or cracked. If you have a glass liner, it must be in new condition.
The work does not need to be created by Chase because it is worth collecting. Other companies have also hired name designers. Collectable 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. It has come back with new and interesting objects as a future collection.
Collectable Art Deco Chrome is back.Here’s what to look for | Antiques
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