Ask Antique Trader: Old pocket watch needs investigation

Is it possible for you to evaluate the 18K Tiffany pocket watch shown in the pictures for age and value? It is an open face watch with 2 back covers and a locket on the reverse with a Victorian-type picture. It measures 1 1/8 inches in diameter and is in working order. The serial number is 117643.
– H. Maushay, via Internet

A It sounds as if you have a fine watch made by Tiffany and that it’s worth investigating further. I think your watch dates from circa 1913-1923; the date can be determined definitely if you find out who the maker of the movement is. Tiffany made their own movements from 1874-1879. After this time many other famous makers, including Patek Philippe, Audemars, Piaget and a few others, made movements for them. Each watch manufacturer’s movements can be identified by the plate configuration. You can go to any public library and check out Complete Price Guide to Watches by Cookie Shugart. This book will show you images of movements, which will help you to identify your Tiffany movement. Price is determined by the condition of the watch, movement and dial and of course the maker of the movement. Good luck!

Q I would appreciate any information you could give me on this chair as to age and value if possible. I purchased this chair about a year ago at an antique store and the seat was re-covered.
– D. Armstrong, Boston, Mass.

A Your chair looks to be from the early part of the 20th century, though it is difficult to be sure from a photograph. To determine whether your chair was handmade, look to see if the back of the chair is rough compared to the rest of the chair. Craftsman did not carve the backs of the chair frames in the 18th century. Turn the chair over and look for hand made nails. If screws are holding your chair together there is a good chance your chair is not an antique. Check for signs on the wood for wear – a chair over 100 years old will definitely show some signs of wear to the wood frame. The legs will show wear as well from being dragged across the floors over the years. If your chair dates to over 100 years old it probably would have a value of $800-$1,200. If the chair turns out to be from the 20th century it would have a value of around $200.

Early Santa Decoration
early santa decoration
 early santa decoration

Q I acquired a Santa Claus Roly Poly toy. I believe it was made by Schoenhut but I am not certain. Recently there was a similar one for sale on eBay with a cloth-like tag attached to the bottom dated 1908; my toy has no tag.

Here are a few details of my Santa: It measures approximately 7 1/4 inches high by 4 1/4 inches wide. It appears to be in good condition with no apparent damages or repairs. It is made of a composite material (perhaps papier mache). I believe that it is hollow as it is not heavy. I have read that these toys were weighted in the bottom so they would upright itself, but I do not believe that mine is weighted because it is light and it does not right itself when tipped over.

Can you identify it and its approximate worth if anything?

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. – D. Cairns, Memphis, Tenn.

A It appears that your Santa is not a Schoenhut Roly Poly. Your Santa appears to have a flat bottom; the roly polys were made with a rounded bottom so that they would “roll.” I think the Santa you have is a papier mache Christmas decoration, most likely made in Germany and dating from the turn of the 19th century. The value would be around $50.

Linda Roberts has 20 years of experience in the antique community and is a well-qualified, expert appraiser. Presently, she is the proprietor of White Orchid Antiques, in Media, Pa. Roberts can be reached at White Orchid Appraisals, 609 West State Street, Media, PA 19063. Phone 610-304-7077.

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