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10 - Antique Shoppe -
                                                           Rocky Mountain Treasure                        website
                                                                                                             Fenn made the announcement this week on his
                                                                     Chest Found!                         that the chest was found by someone who wants
                                                                                                          to be anonymous. Fenn told a local newspaper that
                                                 — After a decade of searching by     the man was from “back East” and he confirmed
                                                         thousands of treasure hunters, a chest filled with   the discovery by sending Fenn a photograph of the
                                                         gold, rubies, emeralds and diamonds has been     riches.
                                                         found in the Rocky Mountains. The treasure was      Fenn said that as many as 350,000 people from
                                                         hidden by Forrest Fenn, an 89-year-old art and   all over the world went hunting for the treasure.
                                                         antiquities collector who created the treasure hunt   Some quit their jobs to search full-time, two
                                                         to “inspire people to explore nature and give hope   people died, two have been rescued near death,
                                                         to people affected by the Great Recession.”      several have had run-ins with local and federal law
                                                           He put clues leading to the treasure’s         enforcement.
                                                         location in a 24-line poem published in his 2010
                                                         autobiography “The Thrill of the Chase.”

                                                                                      What we would like to nail down (sorry) more closely is the actual age
           Questions &                                                            and perhaps the name of the manufacturer and for this we need an expert’s
                                                                                  help. My mother was a small child at the time this set was acquired so she
           Common Sense Answers                                                   doesn’t really know exactly when it was made or bought and in fact it could
                                                                                  be even earlier than the 1920’s. I cannot find any other labels like the one
                                         with Fred Taylor                         in the picture but perhaps the fragment gives you enough to go on for the
                                                                                      I am tackling this one first because I’m pretty sure we are not going
                                                                                  to sell this set (I actually really like it, although my mother doesn’t) and I
                Fred – My parents had a bedroom set that someone said was a       would like to get an idea of what it is and what it’s worth so that I can make
        Q. “waterfall” set. I am confused about the term because I don’t see      suitable decisions on care, location and appraisal/insurance if appropriate.
        a waterfall anywhere in the set. Is that a maker or a style or a color? What   It is in remarkably good condition overall with only some minor nicks and
        exactly doers it mean?                                                    scratches here and there. As far as we know it has it’s original finish. We would
               Trust me you are not alone in your confusion. Waterfall refers to the   appreciate it very much if you could review the pictures when you have some
        A. shape of the front edge of the pieces of the set. The veneer on the top   time and let us know what you think. Thanks and regards, Charlie M.
        runs from back to front instead of side to side as it does in most styles. As it   Charlie –Glad you are finding my book useful. I tried to write a useful
        goes over the rounded edge this gives the effect of “going over a waterfall.”   A. book rather than a scholarly tome. They are more fun to read. Your
        Waterfall was an important part of the style known as Art Moderne in the   dining set is made of some solid walnut with different cuts of walnut veneer
        1930s and 1940s. The style today is called Art Deco, a                                        on the faces while most of the solid structural parts,
        term coined in the 1960s.                                                                     legs, feet, stretchers, chair frame, etc. are made of gum.

                                                                                                      The style is a variation of William and Mary as you noted
                Hi Fred - I’ve been enjoying your book very                                           but not a real close version. Overall it would qualify as
        Q. much. I’ve been reading parts of it every few                                              Colonial Revival. In fact during the period the style was
        days so that the concepts soak in. I think you did very                                       just called “Colonial”. The late 1920s sounds about right.
        well working the history of the manufacturing processes                                       The book “American Manufactured Furniture” by Don
        into the lesson. Being somewhat of a history buff myself                                      Fredgant, Schiffer Publishing, shows many examples very
        it made it more interesting for me to see how new                                             similar to yours. The book is a compilation of ads and
        technologies evolved and altered furniture making.                                            material from manufacturers for the 1929 model year. It
            I have attached a series of photos which depict a                                         is unlikely that the set was made before the 1920s. That
        china cabinet and chair which belong to a dining room                                         would have meant the set was finished in shellac, not
        set that has been in our family since the late 1920’s. It                                     lacquer and it would have acquired the black alligator
        consists of a dining room table, six chairs, a buffet, a                                      look by now. The process of curing red gum lumber was
        server and the china cabinet. Some of the other pieces                                        only commercially perfected in the 1920s and by 1928
        were not accessible to photograph and the china cabinet                                       gum was the most used wood in American furniture.
        conveys all of the style elements present in the set so                                          I couldn’t tell much from the label. If you can find
        I focused on that piece, as well as the chair. Piecing                                        another label with any more info let me know. I have the
        together what information I can get from my mother,                                           definitive reference book on Grand Rapids written by the
        and what I have learned from the book I am pretty sure                                        curator of the Grand Rapids Museum. It has every maker
        of the following: The set is made of walnut, with walnut                                      and every label in it. Your set would probably sell at
                                                              The china cabinet to the dining room set shows
        veneer. The period of manufacture would seem to be    all the major elements - the applied molding, the   auction in today’s market the range of $1,000 - $1,200.
        the 1920’s as evidenced by the blocks in the corners of   different cuts of walnut and veneer and the loose   Good luck with the set. Thanks for the great photos.
        the chair (holes for the seat screws). It was made in Grand  William & Mary interpretation typical of the late
        Rapids, MI (remains of a label in a drawer), so it was           1920s to mid 1920s.
        probably of very good quality at the time. I don’t see any
        kind of defects in the glass of the door so I don’t know what to make of that.   Send your comments, questions and pictures to me at PO Box 215, Crystal River, FL 34423 or
        As for style, I can only guess that it might be some sort of revival or replica of   email them to me at
        the “William and Mary” period (trumpet shapes in the legs and the scrolling   Visit Fred’s website at and check out the downloadable
        stringers on the bottom of all the pieces, although the pieces, and especially   “Common Sense Antiques” columns in .pdf format. His book “HOW TO BE A FURNITURE
        the server and the buffet have rather massive appearances (and weights!).   DETECTIVE” is now available for $18.95 plus $3.00 shipping. Send check or money order for
                                                                                  $21.95 to Fred Taylor, PO Box 215, Crystal River, FL 34423
        Please set me straight on any of these if I am wrong. Any other information   Fred and Gail Taylor’s DVD, “IDENTIFICATION OF OLDER & ANTIQUE FURNITURE”, ($17.00
        you might have or further clues for me to follow up on would be most      + $3.00 S&H) are also available at the same address. For more information call (800) 387-6377
        appreciated.                                                              (9AM-4PM Eastern, M-F only), fax 352-563-2916, or e-mail All
                                                                                  items are also available directly from the website,
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