Antique papier-mache trays - AmericaNowNews.com

Antique papier-mache trays

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You've probably seen papier mache trays for sale at swap meets or garage sales. If they're antique, they're worth a pretty penny. Discovering an unexpected treasure at a flea market is one of life's great pleasures. But to find a hidden jewel, you have to know what to look for. And here's something you shouldn't pass up.

Antiques Expert Francesca de la Flor is one of the country's top antique dealers. She says these decorative trays actually carry tremendous value.

Francesca showed us her latest find.

"This is a 19th-century Victorian papier mache tray. It is hand-painted. It has a beautiful scene in the center. And for one reason or another, it was inlaid with mother of pearl, which is unusual," she says of a particularly special find.

Francesca says the charming castle, elegant gold border and pristine condition makes this papier mache tray highly desirable.

"And if there is a dog or a horse painted in the center section, then you have a very, very valuable tray," says Francesca. "Everyone has a dog and most people like horses, so that horse motif, that dog painting adds to any decor and it's very sought-after. These pieces are very rare because they're made of paper. They're basically the kind of thing that was never really designed to last, and they'll melt if left out in a rain storm or warp badly if left in a damp garage. So very few of them, particularly as beautifully painted as this, have survived."

So, if the next time you're at a flea market, you happen to spot an antique papier mache tray … grab it! You've just found yourself a bona fide treasure.

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