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Catalin and Abalone Shell Custom radio cabinet
Fada (chassis) circa 1939
 

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One of a kind?

This small set defines art deco, a small wood cabinet beautifully and skillfully covered with black and yellow pieces of Catalin with carefully cut and fitted pieces of Abalone shell. I do know the radio chassis is a FADA because of the FADA part numbers on all the internal components. I have learned since posting this page that the chassis and dial are the same as used in the FADA L-56. It also is obvious that the wood case is of professional origin and there is a worn label on the bottom but the manufacturer ID is worn off.

I can only speculate as to the origin of the finish on the set. I suspect it was custom done by a specialty shop for an exclusive dealer or customer (likely an upscale jewelry shop). THIS IS NO AMATEUR JOB! This had to be  done by a shop with the equipment and ability to design, cut, and assemble these carefully fitted pieces together. There are 70 pieces of Catalin and more than 100 pieces of Abalone shell covering this case. It is also apparent that it was done long ago as the larger Catalin pieces have shrunk as Catalin is prone to do.

The case, Catalin pieces and all cosmetics are perfect. I have restored the electronics and the chassis is exceptionally clean and works perfect. There was no back but I can certainly fabricate one that will look original if purchaser desires. More info below.

Year: late 1930's
Case: wood covered with Catalin & Abalone shell
Dial: clock face, not lighted
Tuning type: capacitance, super-het
Power transformer: no - AC/DC chassis
No. of tubes: 5
Frequency coverage: AM, standard broadcast
Antenna requirements: long wire required
Measurements (approx): 10x6x5"

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