Chicago Antiques Guide

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Art Deco Chest of Drawers

Posted Friday, November 18 by Brian

"I am looking to purchase an Art Deco Chest of Drawers for my bedroom. I've done some research and have found pictures of items like what I am looking for, predominantly by Gimble Brothers. I am not that familiar with the plethora of dealers in the Chicago area and I was wondering if you would be so kind as to suggest some reputable dealers that might be a good place to start looking for my chest?

"Here's a link to one set that I liked that actually mentions Gimble Bros. and the designer.

"Any direction you may be able to give would be greatly appreciated."


Unless there is (or was) another Gimbel Bros that I am not aware of, the Gimbel Bros referenced is the New York department store (competitor of Macy's). They did not manufacture furniture, but sold quality furniture under there own name. The dealer who sold that set also did not say that it was designed by Donald Deskey, he said it may possibly be attributed to Donald Deskey.

I make these points to illustrate the distinctions between designer, manufacturer and retailer. Most furniture, if marked at all, is usually marked by the manufacturer. Some larger retailers have furniture made to be sold under their own name, like Gimbels in New York, or Marshall Field's in Chicago. Only designers who have attained major status will have their names appear on the piece usually with the manufacturer that they are designing for.
The picture at right illustrates a more common Art Deco design called "waterfall", so named because of the rolled over front edge that suggests a waterfall. The chest of drawers pictured is available at the Oakton Street Antique Center (see our Malls Directory -Northwest Suburban) priced at $245. Art Deco waterfall is readily available and affordable. The picture top left is another but fancier waterfall piece I found at the Lazy Dog Antique Shop on Belmont in Chicago, priced at $500. Higher styled Art Deco is harder to find and correspondingly more expensive, with identifiable designer pieces being the most expensive. I saw another nice Deco Chest of Drawers at Good Old Days on Belmont as well. You could also try the Broadway Antique Market, Douglas-Rosin Decorative Arts, and Edgewater Antique Mall, all in our Shops Directory for the City. You might want to call and ask if they have any Art Deco chest of drawers in stock, before making the trip.

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