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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/German Shrunk - Questions


QUESTION: My mother in law was given this shrunk by one of her military friends when they returned from overseas. She said it was about 80 years old, so that would put it at about 1935 or so.  Tried looking up information online and found some similar looking ones, but wasn't for sure.  Looks like its purpose was a china cabinet. Just curious to see what you think about it as far as era/year as well as use for this particular type of shrunk. We enjoy it and would like to know more about it. Thank you for your help and expertise!

ANSWER: At first glance, it looks more like post WWII, but I need to see photos of the back of the cabinet and a close up of the foot of the cabinet, and I will try to tell you more. Why do you think it is German?

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QUESTION: Because my mother-in-law said that the friend that bought it overseas was in Germany and he bought this German shrunk while he was there and then had it shipped to them from Germany. If it looks otherwise, please let me know your thoughts.  I have attached pictures as you had asked regarding the legs/feet and back of the shrunk.

This is a china cabinet / buffet or as the Germans call it a shrunk. The style was inspired from the French art deco period, but the fact that the wood grain is not going in the same direction and the design of the feet is not the way the French build furniture, so, it certainly is German. There are a few details that make me think this piece is not as old as you think, but the back of the Shrunk does look like it is from the late 1930s. I can not really tell you much more, I hope this was helpful.  

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Michael Andrew Wilson


I will attempt to answer questions about European Antique Furniture and 20th Century Decorative arts and Design furniture, including 18th century & 19th century construction details, style, period and the craftsmen and manufactures that created them, I will also attempt to answer questions about buying European Antiques and how to become a expert collector, my speciality is French, Italian, English, Irish, Spanish, Belgium, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, German, and Swiss.


Since 1995, I have been, a professional art, antiques and design advisor and earned an unparalleled reputation for providing select clients: expertise in making informed purchase decisions for antiques and art acquisition from a wide range of categories and eras. Architects, interior designers, decorators, dealers, museums, collectors and private clients rely on me for a wide variety of services. I specialize in finding and facilitating the purchase of some of the most notable pieces in the market today. And because I know the market so well –including the secret locations where the world's best dealers purchase their stock – I are generally able to do this at a significant saving of both time and money. My service includes: creating collecting and acquisition strategy including organizing personally guided buying trips throughout the International art and antiques markets, pre-shopping research, sourcing, analysis of markets, documentation and expert appraisals, handling, shipping and delivery coordination. In short, everything my clients need to be assured of the most knowledgeable, reliable, and pleasurable sourcing, acquisition and collecting experience. My approach is to offer maximum transparency. You can visit my website at:

Moving to Paris in 1989, I worked, for five years as an Interior Design Project Manager for Polo Ralph Lauren where I helped to plan and open more than 60 Polo stores and showrooms across Europe and purchased antiques for one of Mr. Lauren's homes and as a result I oversaw the purchase of millions of dollars of Art & Antiques, this experience gave a unique qualifications to understand the complexities of this market and gives me a rare insight into the professional antique & art market. I also have taught “Furniture Design and Style” at the IESA (Institute Arts Superior) in Paris. and have a personal archive of over 170,000 photos of Furniture and 160 hours of video of the major European art and antiques fairs including: Paris’s Biennale des Antiquaires , Maastricht’s TAAF , and London’s Grosvenor House. Some of these videos can be see at:

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