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  • Telephone with Roycroft copper cover
    1910 Telephone With Roycroft Copper Cover

    Mission style, often called Arts and Crafts, was first popular in the early 1900s. Heavy wooden Mission furniture made of dark finished oak was introduced by Gustav Stickley. It was soon copied by many other firms. The style, displayed in furniture as well as other decorative arts, is somber.

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  • Bisque baby decanters
    Bisque Baby Decanters

    A toy with hidden parts that give it a second use can add to its value, so look carefully at unfamiliar playthings. A teddy bear sometimes has a hidden music box inside or is made to be used a muff.

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  • Korean medicine chest
    Korean Medicine Chest

    Korean medicine dates back thousands of years. Sharp bone needles once used for acupuncture have been unearthed in Korea. But it was not until the end of the 19th century that doctors in the United States and other parts of Asia began to consider using the unfamiliar medical methods of another country.

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  • Silver calling card tray
    Silver Calling Card Tray

    High-society Victorians had a formal way to meet new friends. No playground visits, no social media. The only proper method was an exchange of calling cards, often called “visiting cards.”

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  • Toucan pitcher
    Toucan Pitcher

    In the 1980s, collectors tried to solve the mystery of who made a series of red, black and cream-colored pitchers shaped like animals and birds. They were all marked “hand painted Erphila” in a round cartouche. Some were also marked “est. 1926,” some “Germany” and some “Czechoslovakia.” Years of research have finally solved the riddle.

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  • Jacquard coverlet
    Jacquard Coverlet

    In the winters of earlier centuries, rooms could become very cold. Heat came only from a fireplace, and a glass of water just 6 feet from the flames could freeze. So blankets, coverlets and quilts were necessities.

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  • Santa on elephant nodder
    Santa Claus On Elephant Nodder

    Santa Claus has changed in appearance over the centuries. At first he was St. Nicolas, a tall thin man with a beard. In 1823 the famous poem “’Twas the night before Christmas…,” was published. It describes a jolly little man who was small enough to slide down a chimney.

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  • Edwardian settee
    Edwardian Settee

    The Edwardian period of furniture design falls in the years between Victorian and Art Deco. It is named for King Edward VII of England, who reigned from 1901 to 1910. Some experts say it is not just the years the furniture was made but also the design that makes it “Edwardian.”

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  • Brass plant stand
    Victorian Plant Stand

    Starting in about 1885, plants were among the decorations in a house because central heating kept homes—and plants—warm in the winter and glass windows let light into most homes...

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  • Tobacco jar
    Tobacco Jar

    The first U.S. Surgeon General warning was required on tobacco products in 1964. Tobacco was labeled bad for your health....

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