This Mexican chair with its leather sling seat is known as a Campeche chair. The style was inspired by a Roman magistrate’s chair, which had a similar shape and sloping seat. More recent Campeche chairs were made in the 19th century in Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, the Balearic Isles and other nearby areas, and Indonesia. They are named for the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico, or perhaps the town of Campeche in the Yucatan where they were made.
From 1800 to 1825, many of these chairs, sometimes called “plantation chairs,” were shipped to New Orleans and used in Southern homes. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both had several Campeche chairs with tooled leather seats.
This chair has two wooden X-shaped sides held together with horizontal rails. The sling back and seat is made of tooled leather with an art nouveau design that suggests a date in the late 1800s. It sold at a Neal Auction last year for $976.
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Q: My sister and I have a first edition of “Paper Dolls and How to Make Them, A Book for Little Girls” by Anson D.F. Randolph. It reads “Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1856.” The book has plates of dolls and clothes in color and black and white. We’d like to know how to go about selling it.
A: The first paper dolls were made in France in the 1700s. The first paper dolls made in the United States were printed in 1854 and were sold in boxed sets. Your book was the first American paper doll book. This book has been offered for sale online for over $700. You can try contacting a used bookstore to see what it will offer, or you can contact one of the online booksellers that deals in old books. We checked retail prices at bookstores for you. One wanted $750, another $695. The condition is very important when setting a price.
Q: Are cereal boxes still a popular collectible? I remember reading about them in the 1960s and seeing a display of flattened boxes for sale at an antiques show.
A: Advertising collectors have been buying round oatmeal boxes since the 1940s. About 1910 to 1930, Kellogg put games and stories to be cut out on the back of boxes. But the rectangular boxes did not attract much attention until Wheaties began picturing athletes on boxes in 1935. It was the “Breakfast of Champions,” and there was a premium that could be cut from the box. By the 1940s, small pin-back buttons picturing comic characters were included with the cereal. Soon, other toys were included and were pictured on the box.
But it was the 1960s that pushed cereal-box collecting, and soon there were books about it and boxes were sold at most antiques flea markets. Many were destroyed when the Mickey Mouse mask or other toy was cut out. The most expensive today are the full flattened boxes of the 1950s and 1960s. Some sell for over $100.