Q What can you tell me about this 17-inch glass pedestal vase? I purchased it for $100 at an auction 10 years ago.
– M.J.L., Natrona Heights, Penn.
A You appear to have what is known as a “brilliant” cut glass vase. It could have been made from 1876 to the early 20th century. There were hundreds of patterns and pieces made by dozens of companies in America However, similar patterns have been made in Europe and sold as American, 19th century. It is important to look for a signature that could be on the base or within the pattern. That will help identify the pattern and the value. It could be worth much more than you paid if the maker is known.
Q My son found this cast-iron object in an old building. What is it?
– J.D.V., Cheswick, Penn.
A You have the heating element for a spirit iron. It burned alcohol to heat the iron. Many companies in America and Europe made them in the late 19th century. If complete, it could be priced at around $80 or more by a vintage kitchen-laundry items dealer.
Q I bought this old chair at a public sale at an old, long closed elementary school. They said teachers had used it. On the back a small metal plate reads “Massachusetts Chair Company.” Can you tell me the age and value?
– M.L., Lower Burrell, Mass.
A Your chair could have been made from 1910 to the 1930s. It appears to be maple and could sell in a shop for $100-$150.
Q I would like information on this gum machine and who could appraise it.
– V.P., Palm Coast, Fla.
A Unfortunately you didn’t give me any information about your coin-operated gum machine. Check to see if it has a maker’s label somewhere. You might contact Hakes Americana & Collectibles, 1966 Greenspring Drive, Suite 400, Timonium, MD 21093. Send photo and maker, etc. They specialize in auctions with such items.