Antique Loomisms: ‘Vista’ pattern china set sold after free antiques appraisal

Yeah Antique Trader readers!

Frank Farmer Loomis IVFor more than 25 years yours truly has written columns for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Art & Antiques and Cox Newspapers but no one until now has ever thanked me.

B. P. of Gallatin, Mo., wrote that she sold her “Vista” china in the ballpark of my figure (see Nov. 3 edition). And D. M. of Carmel, Ind., graciously commented:   “As I am disappointed with your valuation of my Murano stemware (Nov. 24 edition), I do appreciate your response.”  Mr. M’s candor is welcomed and that is why my appraisals are backed with research. It also pleased me he liked the compliment about his stylish dining room.

Here is another venue for Mr. M. which is in his back yard. Contact Dan Ripley of Antique Helper Auctions of Indianapolis who specializes in Murano glass (317-251-5635). Keep us posted.

Thanks to editor Eric Bradley for allowing me do this column. We are calling it “Antique Loomisms” to express my perspective and our joie (oops, joy, see below a Loomism about using French terms) that collecting brings.

-Frank Farmer Loomis IV


Q Enclosed find two photos of a wicker chair I purchased at an estate sale.  It is walnut and supposed to be from the early 1900s. I wonder if you could tell me the approximate value.
— P.K.A., Kerrville, Texas

A In antiquese to make an item seem far more la-tee-hah, a French term is used.  Thus your chair is called “chaise percée,” meaning a chair with a hole that has a very specific purpose. First, a Loomism; let’s avoid French terminology since straightforward English makes mastering antiques far easier.

vintage wicker commode chairBathroom chairs had a lift-up seat similar to modern flush versions (proving that the controversy of leaving the seat up is indeed antique!) to reveal a chamber pot. Your circa 1900 example is in the ever popular Louis XVI style and was crafted to fit over a modern toilet to give the bathroom a 1700s ambience.
On Oct. 15, 2006 Grogan and Company sold two bathroom chairs that formerly belonged to the legendary 1901 mansion, the Elms, of Newport Rhode Island, for $115. Your chair at auction is worth $50 to $75. 


Commemorative First Day Cover Erie Canal stampQ On July 4th, 1967 I attended the Sesquicentennial of the Erie Canal in Rome, N.Y.  Enclosed is a copy of the envelope I purchased celebrating this event. Can you tell me if this envelope has any value? — O.W.R., Aitkin, Minn.

A The opening of the Erie Canal in the United States was a huge accomplishment, akin to the 1869 completion of Inter Continental Railroad. The canal, which connected Albany to Buffalo, New York, made shipping manufactured goods far easier than by burro or wagon. 

Yankees got the idea from the British who had perfected this innovation. (In the late 1700s trailblazer Josiah Wedgwood wanted a less dicey manner for shipping china to London.)

Your envelope is a wonderful example of a Mid-Century antique that is still affordable. Recently, one sold on eBay for about $10.

Frank Farmer Loomis IV is an antiques and fine arts appraiser, lecturer, journalist and host of “Keep Antiquing!” a weekly radio show on WMKV radio in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of Antiques 101 and Secrets of Affordable Antiques in addition to hosting “Antiques, History & Loomis” on Anderson Community Television, broadcast on Cincinnati Public Television.

More from Antique Trader:

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