Q I recently found the following item at an estate sale and would like your opinion on what it is, how old it is and does it have any value. It measures approximately 8 1/4 inches long by 7 1/4 inches wide on the top rim. It measures just over 2 inches tall. It is heavy cast iron. It is stamped with the name M & H. Schrenkeisen on the rim of one side, and on the other side, New York. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
A Schrenkeisen was a company in New York from 1851 until 1903 which made various types of furniture, including hall trees. This type of item was normally placed just inside the front door in homes of the period and had a place for coats, hats and umbrellas. The cast iron item with the design on the bottom is a cast iron drip pan to catch the water from the umbrellas. It is uncommon today and sells for about $125.
Q I’m wanting to know more about this belt buckle. Is it antique and where is it from?
It has a carving on the back side with a crown on it and some symbol below it. The front has a bell with the logo “nemo-me-impune-lacessit.”
A The motto, Nemo me impune Lacessit embossed on the front in Latin, from the Order of the Thistle in Scotland, means No One Attacks Me with Impunity. In addition to the Order of the Thistle, the motto was used by three different Scottish regiments, which is the case here, and explains why there is a thistle in the middle. This is a military belt buckle from the 20th century, but from which regiment, we do not know. It was used with a web type woven fabric belt. This example has seen a lot of use and abuse, possibly being a battlefield pick-up piece. As it is, it’s not worth more than $20. A better condition would command a higher price.
Q Both of my parents passed recently, and I found this while sorting through their stuff. I remember it from when I was a child, but I don’t know what it is or what to do with it. I do know it came from my grandmother in England, but for the life of me I don’t know what it is. Any help you could provide would greatly be appreciated. I always find your articles so interesting, and I thought you might like this one.
A We do not know if it is solid, but it probably is, with an area that is clear, another green, and includes bubbles.
It is probably a paperweight that might indicate a seascape motif. If it is signed, a signature or mark should be on the bottom where the pontil mark is located.
It would have little value for most buyers and could be purchased for around $35, unless more is known from additional photographs.
| About our columnist:
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.