Antique Detective: Rare vintage platter given to church rummage sale

Q: Is this Declaration of Independence authentic? I hope you can help me. – S.S., Odessa, Fla.

A: The FAX you sent of the document clearly shows it isn’t authentic. For instance on the bottom it says “Presented By The Sertoma Club” and “The Dietz Printing Company- Elmo Jones. It was probably done to celebrate an event at the Sertoma Club. Many such documents have been printed over the years.

Q: This armchair is part of a set consisting of a sofa, two armchairs and three side chairs. I haven’t been able to find out anything about the set. It was purchased at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. – B.G.K., Antioch, Ill.

A: Your armchair is part of a parlor set in the Renaissance revival style popular in the 1890s. It could sell for around $2,000.

Q: I am planning to give this dresser to my niece as a wedding gift and would like to know more about it. It was brought to Finland from the U.S. in the 1960s. – N.H., Kan.

A: It is in the Art Deco style, dating to the late 1930s and was mass produced probably by a Grand Rapids furniture company. Check the back and inside drawers for a maker’s label. It was part of a set that included a bed , chest of drawers. As a single piece it, it may sell for $900-$1,200.

Q: Can you evaluate this Herbert Hoover and Al Smith, cream color Toby mug? It was a limited edition in 1928. – T.R., Glenview, Ill.

A: A dealer price might be around $125, possibly more.

Q: I have a Currier and Ives print bought by my mother over 100 years ago (I am 95). It is titled “Summer in the Country.” What is it worth? – G.S., Quincy, Mass.

A: Your print was made by Nathanial Currier when his printing company first started on Nassau street in New York. If an original, in the large size, it could sell for $1,500 or more. There have been many printings over the years so it should be authenticated by a specialist appraiser or museum curator.

Q: I would like to find the value of 6 game plates with one platter that were donated to our church rummage sale. They are marked Buffalo Pottery and have deer and elk motifs. – A.G., South Weymouth, Mass.

A: My research turned up that they were Larkin Company Soap premiums, made by the Buffalo china Company, as a series of fish and game plates. They were hand painted , signed by the artist, R.K. Beck, lower right hand corner. There are collectors clubs for Larkin soap premiums you will find on the internet. Since they don’t often come to market your set could sell in a shop from $600 up.

Q: I have had this old cabinet with heavy carving for years. It has no markings. Should I have it looked at? – J.F. – Bourne, Mass.

A: Your photo only tells me it is in the Renaissance revival style popular from the late 19th century and adapted in the early 20th century. Since it can be worth several thousand dollars, depending on age and condition, definitely have a professional appraiser look at it. They will advise you where to sell it.

Q: This tea set in the original box is marked made in Japan. It consists of six divided plates, 6 saucers, 5 cups, teapot, sugar/creamer. What’s the value? – L.T., Lincolwood, Ill.

A: Your Japanese luster teaset was made between the 1920s or ’30s. It could sell for $250-$300.