Good Old Days Updates

In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
Antiques Corner

The Value of Vanity

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Question: This vanity set shows its age, but its graphics are still lovely. The set includes a mirrored tray, a covered glass jar and hand mirror-- Are any pieces missing? If so, how much more would a complete set be worth than an incomplete one?

Answer: At the turn of the 20th century, these personal items were described as ladies' toilet sets and were packaged in a fancy box that sat atop a woman's dressing table. Less elaborate vanity sets of this design date from the 1930s through the 1950s. A complete set would certainly have included a matching hairbrush and possibly a comb and one or two scent bottles. This ensemble has a powder jar made of pressed glass and what appears to be an enameled cover. It was probably an affordable purchase made at a variety store or department store. Expensive sets have cut-glass jars and sterling-silver covers, brushes and mirrors. Similar partial sets sell at auctions for $20 to $40. Additional matching pieces could increase the value to around $100.

-- By Tom Hoepf, associate editor of Auction Central News

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