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What Is It Worth?

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What Is It Worth?

By: Anne Gilbert

As seen in The Antique Shoppe Newspaper, February 2007

Q. I have a question about my mother’s reverse glass painting. It depicts the “old” Connecticut state house (since moved). It has tinsel and mother-of-pearl insets that you mentioned could be a sign of 1970s reproductions of the “gaudy” late Victorian reverse paintings. It is 3’X 2’. No signature. Is it worth a Professional appraisal? My father paid twenty five cents in the 1920s at at a garage sale. J.S.- CT

A. I think it would be of interest to the Historical Society in the Connecticut State Capital, especially since the building was moved. It is hard to put a price on it since it is unique. You could donate it or offer it to the Historical Society for $500 or more. It dates to the late 19th century, obviously before the building was moved. On the other hand many could have been made. The Society might even have one.

Q. This chair and sofa have the label “Karpen Bros. Furniture Co., Chicago. We have had the set since before the1950s. How old is it? L.A.- Hastings, MN

A. Your Karpen parlor set was made around 1929.

Q. My mother left me this vase that has oriental designs. It is 12 ½” high and has no marks. Any information on age, value and origin? R.F.- Woodstown, NJ (for Lancaster paper)

A. Your ceramic vase is Japanese, Satsuma ware. From your photo and the fact it is unmarked, it could date to the mid 19th century. It could sell in a shop for $900 or more. Hire a professional appraiser.

Q. I would like to know the value of this Currier & Ives print, “The Life of a Sportsman. Camping in the Woods.” It also says “Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1872 By Currier & Ives in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. V.M. - Lakin, KS

A. Your Currier and Ives print could sell at auction for over $1,000 if in perfect condition, and not a restrike (made after the original printings in 1872). Unfortunately you have foxing on the title (brown stains). The good news is that the print is in an old rustic frame. A professional restorer could put it right. Check with a close city art museum for who restores their artwork.

Q. I have been carrying this round, brass object, with a square hole for 20 years. It is the size of an American nickel and has engraved symbols on it. What do think it is? J.L.G. - Apollo, PA

A. I am returning the Chinese coin that you sent. Since it has Chinese symbols I suggest you show it to a coin dealer who can date and evaluate it.

Q. These two wedding top figures have been in the family for quite awhile. They are 4 ¾” high. They are marked “Made in Japan”. What can you tell me?

A. Your toppers were made in the 1920s to early 30s. From your photo they appear to be chalk ware. There are collectors of wedding toppers. Yours could sell in a shop for $100 or more.

Q. My husband inherited this silver and we know nothing about it. 17 pieces. Man of the pieces are marked F.B.Rogers Silver Co.: William A. Rogers By Oneida. Can you help evaluate? E.W. - Sarver, PA

A. You have silver plated pieces made around 1929. Obviously they vary in price, pay a local antique dealer to appraise them.

Q. Can you advise me of the value of toys from Burger King and McDonalds? I’ve collected from 1998 thru 2003. Still in their original wrappers. N.W. - Plainfield, NJ

A You’ll find all the information you need in “Hake’s Price Guide to Character Toys. Published by House of Collectibles in New York. Cost is $35. Check your local book store or order it on line

Q. Could you tell me what this cast-iron, bull terrier dog bank is worth? J.N. - Vandergrift, PA

A. A shop could price your Boston Bull dog still bank from $400 to $450.

If you have any questions, you can Email us at

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