Ask the Experts: Plaque is modern Cleopatra commemorative



Letter Q for Ask Experts

I am looking for information on this plaque that I found. The object appears to be Egyptian, and it is 9 inches in diameter and is a casting of pot/white metal.

Any information would be helpful.

Cleopatra commemorative

Modern commemorative plaque of Cleopatra.

— H.S., Fort Wayne, Ind.


Ask the Experts letter "A" H.S. sent in a photo of a plaque which he found. It is 9 inches in diameter and is a casting of pot/white metal. The inscription states that this is Cleopatra and that fits the headdress and the snake. Cleopatra was last pharaoh of Egypt but was an ethnic Greek. Most of these are made in Greece as a souvenir but are made in Egypt and elsewhere as well. The snake represents the asp, which Cleopatra used to commit suicide in 30 BCE. These are of recent manufacture and have a value of $20. The interior is usually a type of chalk, so if cracked open chalk particles come out.

Cleopatra had a child with Julius Caesar and married Mark Antony, ruling the Eastern part of the Roman empire with him for a short time before they were defeated at Actium by Augustus in 31 BCE.


Q I’ve been reading my Trader in spurts, etc., and have really enjoyed the letters from everyone. It brings back memories of all the fun and joy I’ve had over the past 40-plus years of being a collector and shop owner. Most of that time I was an Antique Trader reader and sometimes put an ad in.

Now that I’m 84, it’s time to call it quits. It was a wonderful life though!

I’m enclosing a couple of pictures, to find out the name, maker, company that made these HStewartPipeswebpipes.

This one happened to come to me in a choir stand with magazines – I didn’t even look inside. It’s been for sale for a few years now and I’ve had it in the shop boxes all that time.

The picture of the pipes in Barbara Hartsfield’s letter was a reminder of this one I have – the pipes are porcelain and look like it has painted birds.

— H.S., Winfield, Kan.

Ask the Experts letter "A" H.S. sent in a photo of one pipe, although she mentions more. This pipe is indeed porcelain with a painted bird motif and a stem of some type of plastic. This pipe is German. Some were also made in Austria and France but almost all found today come from Germany. Most were made in the early 20th century, and after World War I, there was a flood of these shipped into the United States and brought back by tourists. Most have a cover over the bowl, and there appears to be one here.

Commonly, these were made of aluminum or nickel-silver – rarely .800 fine silver. The stem is birch or some other soft wood. This pipe may be classified as an ethnic piece, in this case, German. It is also a novelty or conversation souvenir. Some were actually used. These are found often in antique malls all over the U.S. and usually sell for under $100, depending on condition and other factors as mentioned.

About our A.I.A. appraiser: Dr. G. Marchelos is an honors graduate and certified appraiser of the Asheford Institute of Antiques. Additionally, Dr. Marchelos has a PhD in history, is a professor of antiquities at the University of Alabama, and is a nationally recognized appraiser working for both private and public institutions across North America. Dr. Marchelos is also a well established antiques dealer, operating both in the U.S. and Europe.