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News Article

What Is It Worth?

By: Anne Gilbert

As seen in The Antique Shoppe Newspaper, June 2007

Q. I found this armchair in my late grandfather’s attic. The branded signature reads “L & G Stickley” and there is a number I can’t make out. It appears to be in original finish. It is such a plain design I wondered if it has any value. T.S. - Evanston, IL

A. Your armchair in the arts and crafts style made in the early 20th century by the Stickley brothers is popular with collectors. It could sell at auction for between $500/700.

Q. I have had two steer horn chairs for over 20 years and they belong to my late grandfather. Can you tell by the photo if they are American or European? R.H. -Granger, IN

A. Your highly decorative horn chairs are more typical of American makers, while the German pieces, made earlier, have a heavy look.

Q. I have this chocolate set with pot and cup and saucers. It was my great-Grandmother’s and I am 73 years old. It has a mark with a wreath and a star above it. In the middle are the initials R.S. Under that the word “Prussia”. What could it be worth? B.R. -Freeport, PA

A. Your set could sell in a shop for over $600. You are lucky that you can date it back in the family since reproductions with fake stamped marks were made in the 1970s

Q. My mother-in-law got this cat shaped cookie jar as a wedding gift in 1944. On the bottom it says “Puss ‘n Boots USA”. Does it have any value other than Sentimental? J.N. - Vandergrift, PA

A. Cookie jars continue to be one of the most popular collectibles. Yours was made by the Shawnee pottery in 1944. It could sell in a shop for over $300.

Q. This metal inkwell belonged to my late uncle. I don’t know what metal it is but it weights about five pounds. It is 4 ˝” high and 6”x 10”. The head and  front legs raise up. There is a metal container for the ink. The signature is “Rob A. Lough” on the left hind leg. What can you tell me about it? E.S. - Denver, CO

A. After much research I could find nothing about your artist. However because of the weight the metal is probably bronze and it is in the Art Nouveau style, late 19th century. Similar items have sold at auction for $800 and up.

Q. I would like to know something about this ceramic jardiničre and stand. The oak leaves and acorns are raised. It looks like it was turned on a potters wheel. The woman I got it from had varnished it but the color shows through, no crack in the actual pottery. J.R. - Kansas City, KS

A. You didn’t mention what shows up in your photos as a signature or maker’s mark. Unfortunately I can’t make it out. The varnish lowers the value. If it is professionally removed (restored) it could sell at auction for several hundred  dollars. Much more if the signature is identified. It is a good example of late 19th century American Art pottery.

Q. This desk belonged to my husband’s grandfather, dating back to 1849. What could it be worth? R.J. -Server. PA

A. Your handsome desk is the 19th century version of office furniture. It took various forms and was sometimes known as a “postmaster’s” desk. From your photos there is a roll down front and the interior has pigeon hole compartments. In good condition it could sell at auction for $600 and up.

Q. What can you tell me about this small, 3” high vase marked “made in occupied Japan? Value? B.J.B. Cowansville, PA

A. Your miniature vase is known as Satsuma Japanese pottery. It was exported to America from the 1860s, till World War 11. Your piece marked “Occupied Japan” was made from 1945 to 1952. It could sell in a shop for $50 or more.

If you have any questions, you can Email us at

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