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William H. Vanderbilt gilded side chair by the Herter Brothers, ca. 1881-82, at Associated Artists, Southport, Conn.
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by Brook S. Mason

If you believe hipster contemporary art is the only niche collectible making the market roar with unprecedented ferocity, think again. Right now, folk art -- 19th-century Americana crafted by anonymous, self-taught artists, reflecting a simpler time -- is soaring to new price levels. This new development is readily apparent at the 53rd annual Winter Antiques Show at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue, Jan. 19-28, 2007.