Ask Antique Trader: Unusual adjustable slag glass lamp a real find

Q About 1960 I found this metal canteen in a dump. It has the letters “USFS” on both sides. Is that US Forest Service? My dad had worked for the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930s. Maybe it had been his. It is 9 inches in diameter, 3 inches across. It has a screw top (cover missing) and four loops on the sides (the leather strap is not original). The metal appears to be galvanized steel.  It has several dents.  Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!
— D.H., via e-mail

A It’s amazing the things found in a dump. Your trusty, rusty little canteen was once the property of the United States Forest Service. It probably dates to the 1930s-40s and is made of galvanized metal in order to keep the water pure. Canteens like these were mass produced for trail hands. It sure looks like it has seen its time in the field. At one time the straps attached to the sides were made of canvas and it was likely that the entire unit had a canvas cover to help keep the water cool. On some versions this canvas cover featured a larger, more decorative USAF logo. Your canteen is worth more to you as a memento to your father than on the open market. In mint condition it would be worth $75 to $100.

Q I have a rocker with a painting on the back it has flowers painted on the edges and is a rocker with no arm rests. How can I find its value? I have been searching many sites and have not found anything like it I am including a picture of it. I would like very much for you to help me with this if possible. I also have the original cover. Thank you.
— M.P., via e-mail

A Your pretty little rocker is commonly referred to as a sewing rocking chair. This is easy to remember due to the fact it is lacking arms which would get in the way of someone sewing or knitting. These chairs were mass produced and were fixtures in homes and often given as gifts to a newly married couple. The back looks like it is influenced by a lyre design which leads me think it was produced from 1900-1925. Prices for pretty chairs like yours range from $150 to $225.

Adjustable slag glass lamp
slag glass lamp
slag glass lamp
adjustable slag glass lamp

Q Enjoy the Antique Trader and your column. Wanted to know if you could help me identify this lamp purchased at estate sale. Great condition except for the cord, there is no marking I can find except a number on the bottom 1287. This lamp has three rods that move up and down around the light bulb so the height of the shade is adjustable. Shade is 7 inches tall by 14 inches wide and slag glass in metal framework. The lamp stand 14 to 19 inches tall depending on the shade adjustment. Any idea of maker and value? Thanks for any help.
— C.J. in Arizona

A Your Victorian slag glass lamp dates to the late 1800s. It looks as though it has a wonderful patina. Whatever you do, don’t polish it. Slag glass lamps are rarely marked by manufacturers. Some companies that made these lamps include the Empire Lamp & Brass Mfg. Co. and Edward Miller & Co. Although these lamps are found all across the country it’s seldom you find one with an adjustible shade like this. In its current condition your lamp is worth about $750.

Eric Bradley is the editor of Antique Trader magazine. He has been buying, selling and trading antiques and collectibles for 13 years. He can be reached via e-mail at or in care of Antique Trader Magazine, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54945.

You can send your questions to “Ask Antique Trader” either by e-mail with attached digital images (preferred) or by regular mail with color prints (photos cannot be returned). In either case, be as detailed as possible regarding condition, dimensions and markings. As always, we’ll select the best examples to feature in our pages.

We love hearing from readers, so let us know what you like about Antique Trader and how we can improve the magazine. We cannot provide valuations of antiques and collectibles over the phone.

Ask Antique Trader
700 E. State St.
Iola, WI 54990-0001

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