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Kent's Kalesti Closes Out Chappaqua Library Series

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - The Chappaqua Library ended its three-week antiques and appraisal series on Tuesday with Michael Kalesti, owner of Kent Home on South Greeley Avenue, speaking on mid-century modern furniture.

Unlike the previous two focuses - on art and toys - Kalesti said the mid-century modern market has never been more lucrative.

"It really starts in the deco era and progressed into 1950s, 1960s and now even up into the '80s, things are considered vintage," said Kalesti. "All those really ugly things that we grew up with - the Lucite tables or the Formica top tables - they're very collectible now."

Kalesti said that many of his customers are unaware of the value their furniture holds. He said he met with a customer on Monday who had clothes piled on top of an original wood chair by designers Charles and Ray Eames , which was worth thousands of dollars.

According to Joan Kuhn, Chappaqua Library program director, the library was close to selling off much of its furniture years ago until research revealed the true value of some of its items, including several diamond chairs .

"Those chairs took up a lot of space. So we decided maybe we should sell them. And a woman came to the library and said 'Oh, I'll take them all off your hands.' We had no idea at the time," said Kuhn. "When she said that, the reference librarian started working on it and we found out these were very famous, expensive chairs. And we did not give them to this wonderful woman."

Kalesti recommended that residents look into the value of the item before deeming a piece of furniture a lost cause and throwing it away. Kalesti said he has saved and re-stored many items back to nearly original quality.

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