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News Article

What Is It Worth?

By: Anne Gilbert


As seen in The Antique Shoppe Newspaper, December 2008

Q. Where can I find information on these chairs ? According to family members they were brought across the mountains on a covered wagon or obtained near Prairie City, Oregon.

J.C. - Oregon


A. While your chairs are in the country Windsor style, and probably date 1830s, 40s, the splats and carving on the crests show New Mexico influences. In good They could sell in a shop for $200 or more each. To find out more information contact your local Historical Society.


Q. Where did this teacup and saucer originate ? What does the diamond mark on the bottom mean?

L.M. - Kansas City, KS


A. In my research I was unable to find a similar mark. However I believe you 19th Century teacup was made in one of the many German porcelain factories. Collecting teacups and saucers was a popular hobby in the late 19th and early 20th century. It could sell in a shop for $200.


Q. Please tell me more about the background of this black, mantel Ansonia clock and the value. It was a wedding gift to my aunt in 1900.

L.J. - Wilmette, IL


A. Black mantel clocks were influenced by the popularity of black slate mantel clocks imported from France. They began to be made in America around 1875 and continued to be made till around 1910. Ansonia made more than any other clock company. They made three types: black marble (slate) cases for the high end, black enameled iron cases for middle range and black enameled wood cases for the low end. From your photo your case is slate and the gilt metal decorations add to the value. If you had given me the model name I could have given a definite value. Similar clocks can be priced at as much as $500 in a shop.


Q. I have a collection of salt shakers and would like to know if they have any value. How can I find out?

E.V. - Arnold, PA


A. Salt shakers are a popular collectible that is still affordable. The book, “Salt and Pepper Shakers, Identification and Price Guide” by Gideon Bosker and Lena Lencek, published in paperback by The Confident Collector, Avon Books details the subject with prices.


Q. This vase is signed on the bottom, “ARV”. Thinking it was Van Briggle Pottery I had written to them. They identified the signature as “Albert R. Valentien, Rookwood Pottery. My question is how can I find the value and where can I sell it?

D.P. - Quincy, MA


A. Write to John Toomey Gallery, 818 N. Boulevard, Oak Park, IL 60301. Their auctions specialize in Rookwood pottery. They will give you an estimated value and sell it. Fine, signed pieces such as yours sell from the high hundreds to several thousand dollars.


Q. This Arthur Singer bird and flower print was donated to the Apollo PA Memorial Library. They look as if they were torn from a book. Thank you for any information you can give us.

K.W. - Apollo Memorial Library, PA


A. Arthur Singer (1917-1990) is considered America’s finest bird artist. In addition to his paintings being transferred to prints and postage stamps they also appeared in 20 books. As you noted your “prints look as if they were torn from a book”, which they were. They appeared in a folio, c.1958 for American Home Magazine. Some were signed in pencil. Check to see If yours is an original signature that would add to the value. He worked with his son, artist Arthur B. Singer, to produce birds of 50 states stamps. Unfortunately, currently a single print would sell t online auction for $10/25. Certainly worth framing. Values probably will go up


Q. I can’t find out anything about this ceramic vase that was given to me. It is marked on the bottom “Austria”. What can you tell me about it?

R.H. - New Kensington, PA


A, Your Austrian vase was made in the late 19th century and could sell in a shop  For $75 to $85.


Q. I am helping an elderly friend evaluate her collection of figural whiskey bottles, unopened. She would like to sell them on Ebay but needs a price.

D.B. - Avonmore, PA


A. The figural decanters were part of the Patriotic American series , done for The Bicentennial by McCormic distillery. Her set of eight could sell for $275 or more on Ebay.

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