Although I find a good portion of the whole Art Deco aesthetic to be garish beyond belief, there were certainly design elements and flourishes of the movement that were (and are) incredibly beautiful.
Mostly, I enjoy the swooping, yet bold lines, and the focus on geometry. It's when the designers (whether it be in architecture, furniture design, or art) went overboard with sheer ornamentation that I generally found myself turning away.
That's a bit of a broad discussion to lead into a simple post on some ceramic birds, but there we go. These were picked up at a local thrift store a couple years back for under a dollar each and have lived on various shelves in our house since then.
There are several unique things about the birds, none of which make them particularly valuable or interesting, but nonetheless have always drawn my eye to them.
One is that while close, they're not perfectly symmetrical. They're just "off" enough to give them a slightly more handmade quality, which I tend to favor. Additionally, the color of the paint is amazing and works in perfect compliment to our red dining room.
The second odd thing is that although they certainly look the part (and even have a sort of bold shape that hints at it), they are not bookends. They're hollow and light and seem rather fragile, defeating ideas of placing anything of substantial weight between them.
When my wife first spotted the birds, she was incredibly excited, as they looked to have a lot of characteristics in common with the very collectible (and great) Teco art pottery. Alas, there are no markings on them, save the 98 (or is that 86?) cent prices written on the bottom in red grease pencil that we still haven't wiped off.
Like many things in our house, these probably end up falling much further to the kitsch end of the spectrum than the collectible. Trying to explain why I like them so much is much like trying to explain why a child enjoys playing with a box more than the toy that it was packaged in. Sometimes it just happens that way.