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Antiques and Collecting: Wiinblad chairs feature modern design … |

Antiques and Collecting: Wiinblad chairs feature modern design …

Many artists don’t create just pictures or sculptures. They make furniture, jewelry, dinnerware or even kitchen tools and toys.

In the 1920s and ‘30s, there was a new title for these multi-talented artists: industrial designer. They redesigned existing large machines like trains or trucks, and small household goods like telephones and clocks. The result was better-looking objects that were less expensive to make.


Collectors today may not have space in their homes for the largest industrial machines, but they can find examples of smaller decorative items by these famous men.

A few designers to look for are Russel Wright — dinnerware, furniture and aluminum; Henry Teague — Kodak camera; Henry Dreyfuss — telephone; Lurelle Guild – aluminumware and vacuum cleaner; Viktor Schreckengost — Cowan pottery, pedal cars and dinnerware; and Bjorn Wiinblad — posters, furniture, dinnerware and tapestries.

At a summer Rago auction in Lambertville, New Jersey, a 1970s Wiinblad table and six matching chairs sold for $1,875. The black lacquered pieces had a different colorful, modern design on each chair back and tabletop.

They are large examples of Wiinblad’s talent. But his ashtrays and dishes, decorated with drawings of round-faced people in pseudo 19th-century clothes and often surrounded by vines, floral wreaths and trees, can be found online and in shops for less than $50.

I found four vintage baseball cards glued to the bottom of a dresser that I bought at an estate sale. The players are “Pete” Appleton, “Line Drive” Nelson, “Hank” Greenberg and “Red” Kress. I’m not a collector. Are they worth anything?

Your baseball cards are part of the 1940 set by Play Ball and issued by Gum, Inc., a Philadelphia company that made Blony bubble gum. It was the largest bubble-gum producer in the United States.

Play Ball baseball cards were included with the gum from 1929 to 1941. The 1940 set included 240 different cards.

In 1948 Gum, Inc. became Bowman, which was bought by Topps Chewing Gum in 1956. Your cards are of little value because they were glued to the dresser and are in poor condition.

Cards for Appleton, Kress and Nelson are worth about $5, if in poor condition. Hank Greenberg’s card is worth more because he’s in the Hall of Fame. It’s worth about $30 in good condition and half that in poor condition.

Current Prices

Fairy lamp, Fenton, dogwood, domed, glass center, folded rim base, Burmese, 6 inches, $70.

Wrought-iron gate, stylized peacock feathers, architectural, 2 doors, c. 1900, 45 x 45 inches, $360.

Sewing box, musical, empire, satinwood, hinged serpentine dome lid, swing handle, 1800s, 3 x 8 inches, $1,020.

Lounge chair, fried-egg shape, teak and upholstery, Hans Olsen, asymmetrical, 1956, 41 inches, $6,880.

Tip: Free Comic Book Day is May 5. Free Comic Book Day is held on the first Saturday in May each year, and it is the one day that participating comic-book specialty shops give away comic books free to anyone who comes into their shops.

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