Kovels: Antiques and collecting

Original egg chair

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At least five famous midcentury modern designers made chairs that looked like large hard-boiled eggs with a cutout for seating space: Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971), Milo Baughman (1923-2003), Peter Ghyczy (1940-) and Charles Eames (1907-1978) are four of them. But the fifth and most famous was the Ovalia egg chair made in 1968 by Danish designer Henrik Thor-Larsen (1932-).
The chair was made with a round aluminum base and velvet upholstery on a white fiberglass frame. It was made to swivel. Some of the chairs were made with stereo speakers built into the backs. Hundreds of other chairs seemed inspired by Ovalia. There are womb chairs, rocking egg chairs, fried egg chairs, wicker egg chairs, swing egg chairs and more, all with the rounded egg shape. There are also hundreds of copies selling at low prices. The original Egg chair, sold by New Orleans Action Galleries, brought a bid of $1,000, the estimated price, in a recent auction.

Q: I'd like to know if my McCoy Aunt Jemima cookie jar is real or a reproduction. She has a red bandana on her head and is wearing a white dress with a red towel hanging from her waist. The colors are faded. I think the jar is bisque. Did McCoy ever make a bisque cookie jar?
A: McCoy made "Mammy" or "Aunt Jemima" cookie jars like yours from 1944 to 1957. Some were plain white, and some had trim in other colors. Thousands of cookie jars like yours were made, and they also have been reproduced. The original jars were painted after firing and colors are usually faded or have flaked off. Colors on reproduction jars were glazed and then fired, so they remain bright. Value is about $150 if original.

Q: We have a very heavy Jacobean style dining-room set we'd like to sell. It was a wedding gift to my parents in 1932. Is there a market for this?
A: The heavy, "antique" furniture that was in fashion years ago isn't popular today. The cost to ship the set to an out-of-town auction would be high, so try to sell it locally at a house sale or resale shop.

Current prices
Mt. Washington salt & pepper shakers, enamel flowers, yellow ground, squat fig shape, 2 3/4 inches, $95.
Electric lamp, torchiere, faux bamboo pole, spread base, flared brass shade, Russel Wright, 65 inches, $150.
Poster, music concert, Simon & Garfunkel, Jan. 22, Lincoln Center, black stylized letters figures, blue & green shadows, 1967, 40 x 26 inches, $207.
Doll, Effanbee, Honey, hard plastic, blond hair with bangs, sleep eyes, peach taffeta party dress, black shoes with bows, 1951, 18 inches, $374.

TIP: Paper must "breathe." Don't glue it to a backing. It expands and contracts, and eventually it will tear.
Looking to declutter, downsize or settle an estate? Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2021 by Terry and Kim Kovel has the resources you're looking for.

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