AskAT: Antique barometers


by Kyle Husfloen




Q This barometer with original setting instructions (1940) says at the bottom of the face: “Selsi Compensated England.” It is in excellent or better condition.
– T.G. Floral Park, N.Y.

A The English have been making fine quality scientific instruments for centuries, and I believe your ornate barometer is probably a copy of an early 19th- century design. The fancy decoration appears to be inlaid wood but I can’t be certain without a first-hand inspection. Since the instruction sheet is dated 1940, I suspect that’s when this piece was made. If the case is handcrafted of inlaid mahogany it would prove to be a high caliber piece, both decorative and useful. Assuming that is the case your barometer might be valued in the $300-$600+ range in the right market.

Q My cup and saucer are marked “Stangl Pottery, Trenton N.J., Country Garden” on the bottom of each with “Stangl Pottery, Trenton N.J.” enclosed in a circle with VIII on top of the circle. Any information you could give would be appreciated.
– S.J., Lizton, Ind.


A Stangl introduced the “Country Garden” dinnerware pattern in 1956. It was one of many hand-painted lines that the company produced beginning in the 1940s. If perfect, I believe your cup and saucer set might sell today in the $10-$15 range.

statues.jpgQ  The two terra cotta figures are items I bought at a garage sale. The man is 7 inches tall, the lady 9 inches tall. I did not do the repair on their faces. They are signed FLORA. The seller said they had belonged to her uncle who traveled Europe and Africa with the Red Cross in World War I. Are they of any value?
– M.S., Tyler, Texas

A I haven’t been able to find any information about the “Flora” mark on your molded terra cotta figures of African natives. I suspect they were commercially produced as decorative accents around the late 1940s or the 1950s when such “exotic” pieces were popular in home decor. I guess it is possible that they might have been acquired in Europe several decades before this but that would be difficult to research. If there is no serious damage to the pair my guess is that they might sell today in the $75-$150 range in the right market.