As seen in The Antique Shoppe Newspaper, August, 2006

Q. We recently bought a tea service at an auction. We aren’t dealers or Collectors; just liked it. We paid $300 for the set. It is marked on the Bottom of each piece with a crown over the letter “N”. It says “A Sevres Décor”. Can you tell us anything? We think it was made in Sevres, France.
B.P. - Cincinnati,OH

A. Your very decorative tea service is made in the Sevres style. However the "N” and crown mark are one of the over 100 signatures used by the Noritake China Co. , Japan. The Company made sets like yours for export to the United States from 1953 on using the letter “N”. “A Sevres Décor” is the pattern name. The set originally probably had a paper label saying “Japan”.

Q. We know this small angel figure is old and don’t know what it is made of,  Though very light weight. Can you tell me anything about it?

A. From your photo the angel is a Christmas crèche figure, probably made of Plaster, 19th century and Germany. It could sell on EBay for $50 or more.

Q. Any information on the value of this cast iron fire engine with horses and Driver and fireman? It is approximately 20 “ in length.
N.J.S. - Freeport, PA

A. Your cast iron toy is known as a “pumper” and similar pieces were made by a variety of late 19th century toy makers. Prices depend on condition and maker. Yours has the extra figure of a fireman. Similar pieces sold at the May James Julia toy auction for $3,000 and up. Send photos to James Julia Auction, Fairfield, ME ,04937

Q. I inherited this porcelain box some years ago. Inside was a card saying it “is a porcelain lunch box, circa 19th century.” Can you tell me anything about it? It has partitions possibly for food on the inside.
C.C. - Evanston, IL

A. You appear to have a Japanese lunch box. However I can’t give you any Idea of age without hands on examination. That said, if it is authentic 19th century in mint condition it could sell at auction for $200 or more.

Q. I collect antique hatpins and hatpin holders. I bought this holder from a dealer. It has no maker’s marks. Can you tell me anything about it?
P.S.- Apollo, PA

A. Your hatpin holder was probably made in Germany in the mid 19th century when cameo jewelry was popular, since it features a cameo portrait. It could sell in a shop for $150 or more.

Q. Any idea of the value of this chest of drawers with the two small Boxes on top? It needs work.
B.R.-Quincy, MA

A. Your chest of drawers with the two handkerchief boxes on top was made around 1825 and is in the American Empire style. While ornate pieces with carving and gilding can sell for thousands of dollars, heavy, un-adorned pieces such as yours even in mint condition sell for a few hundred dollars.

Q. This bronze sculpture is one of a pair given to my parents as a wedding gift. It is marked “Made in France” with a circle, cup and leaves that reads “Paris”. I would like to know the value and information.
K.M.S.- Weymouth, MA

A. You somehow missed the sculptor’s name on the side, that show in your photo of the base. It is “Moreau” in the distinctive signature of Auguste Moreau (1834-1917) or (1822-1901). Won medals in Paris for his work and this was obviously such a piece. Contact Stuart Slavid, European Decorative Arts Expert, Skinner Auctions, 63 Park Plaza, Boston, MA, 02116. Send photos, and the base showing the signature. It will be worth thousands of dollars.

Q. Do you know how old or anything about this valet chair? A sign on the Chair says “The Hardesty Co., Chicago, IL. Valet chair.” Various parts open up for hat rack, pants press, detachable hanger. It is leather.
D.F.- Howe, PA

A. Your chair was made somewhere between 1873 and 1917 and would be classified as “convertible furniture.” It could sell at auction for $500 or more.

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