Art Deco Beaded Dress, ca. 1925
Appraised Value: $1,500 - $2,000 (2007)
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:12)
Decorative Arts, Rugs & Textiles
Appraiser of Fine Art and Antiques
Szescila Appraisal Service
GUEST: I inherited this from my aunt, and she inherited it from her aunt. So it's my great-aunt.
APPRAISER: Do you have any idea if she wore it, or when she wore it, or anything about it?
GUEST: No, I don't. Actually, we thought it was the flapper period from the '20s, and it's such a tiny dress none of us have been able to wear it.
APPRAISER: Oh, you haven't been able to? I would have thought you could wear it.
GUEST: Well, thank you.
APPRAISER: It's a wonderful dress. It's probably from the Art Deco period, which is between the two world wars, roughly the 1920s and '30s. And when we think about Art Deco, we usually think about geometric designs. But we also think about rather exotic themes, which is what you have here. You can see that we have this wonderful palm tree all done in hand-sewn beads with a waterfowl of some sort down here. All of this is done by hand. The design is very simple but very sophisticated. Unfortunately, there's no label on the dress, so we really don't know who made it. But whoever did was certainly an artist.
GUEST: Do you have any idea of the beadwork, or where the beads came from?
APPRAISER: They're European, probably Czechoslovakian. And one of the very great things about this dress, it's done on, like, a very thin silk crepe. And these beads actually weigh a great deal, and it's quite unusual to find a dress like this where you have this beaded area all around the bottom, and all the weight of these beads, and for the dress to be in such excellent, excellent condition.
GUEST: We just had it in a box.
APPRAISER: What kind of box, just out of curiosity?
GUEST: Just an old dress box, and that's it.
APPRAISER: With tissue?
GUEST: No, no, just a box.
APPRAISER: Well, I would like to encourage you not to put it in a box.
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: I would put it either in acid-free tissue, or you could even put it, like, in a white cotton sheet. Since it's in your family, you're probably not going to sell it. You'd probably like to know the insurance value, right?
APPRAISERL So, for insurance, somewhere around $1,500-$2,000.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: Because it's so unique, because the condition is excellent.
GUEST: Well, that's great.
APPRAISER: Thank you for bringing it.
GUEST: Well, my brother called me this morning and said, "Bring the dress." I couldn't think of what to bring.
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