Circa-1940 Desk Is Art Deco

By Anne McCollam

February 24, 2017 4 min read

Q: This is a picture of a desk and chair that we inherited. On the bottom of the desk is a tag with the words "Baumritter — New York." We also have the receipt that tells us it was purchased in October 1940. The desk and chair are both well-built and in excellent condition. The desk is 30 inches tall and 37 inches wide.

Any information you can provide us will be appreciated.

A: Theodore Baumritter and his brother-in-law Nathan Ancell started a housewares firm in New York in 1932. Business was not flourishing, and in 1936, they bought out a bankrupt furniture company that was located in Beecher Falls, Vermont. Baumritter and Ancell were impressed with the beauty and history of Vermont and began production of high-quality furniture that reflected the integrity and craftsmanship of the people of Vermont. Baumritter Factory is best known for its Ethan Allen Inc. line of early-American furniture that was introduced in 1939. Ethan Allen was the leader of the Green Mountain Boys during the American Revolution.

Based on the curved top of your desk and the geometric hardware, your desk is an example of art deco design. The desk and chair would probably be worth $125 to $275.

Q: This mark is on the back of a large porcelain plate that I have. It belonged to my husband's parents, who brought it from Germany in 1947 after World War II when my father-in-law was stationed in Munich. It is a fairly large plate, and the edges and the design are both silver. The background is red, and the flowers appear to be enameled. Except for the silver being tarnished, it is close to being in mint condition.

I am very curious about its ancestry and value. What can you tell me?

A: Your plate was made by Rosenthal China Co. located in Bahnhof, Selb, Bavaria. The firm was founded in 1880 and is in business today. "Chippendale" is the name of the shape of the plate. It was decorated with a variety of designs and finishes. Your plate is trimmed with silver overlay that was popular in the early 1900s. Some in the "Chippendale" line were decorated with tropical birds and embellished with silver overlay. Others were finished simply with flowers and no silver overlay. The size of your plate is that of a charger. Nonetheless, your plate is more decorative than functional.

Similar "Chippendale" plates have sold on the internet for $250 to $1000.

 Baumritter Factory was located in Vermont.
Baumritter Factory was located in Vermont.
 Rosenthal China Co. was founded in 1880.
Rosenthal China Co. was founded in 1880.

Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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