Ask Antique Trader: Bird of paradise under glass

Q This blown glass “bird of paradise” encased in a glass dome was a wedding gift to my late mother. “1909” is written on the wooden base. It is 10 inches high and 8 inches across. Please give any information you have. – P.D., Brackenridge, Pa.

A In the late 19th century a popular hobby for women was creating everything from wax flowers to to dried floral arrangements and putting them inside a glass dome. Your bird of paradise figure is sophisticated; it probably required a professional glass blower. It is a wonderful way to preserve an important family event. As a one-of-a-kind item it is hard to put a price tag on it. A rough estimate could be $700 or more.

Q I have several old coiled baskets that were given to me a few years ago. Do you have any suggestions for a book or Web site that would give me a clue to their origin and value? – R.H., Scituate, Mass.

A I found a treasure trove of information on the Internet when I did a search for “Native American coiled baskets.” One good site is

Q My father purchased this 9-piece dining room set in 1956, that includes a buffet and china cabinet with glass doors. What do you know about age, value? – C.S., New Kensington, Pa.

A Your set was mass produced in America from 1910 to the ’20s and is a mixture of styles. It could have a shop price of $600-$800.

Anne Gilbert is a nationally syndicated columnist, author of eight antiques and collectibles books, and is well known for her lectures to business and professional groups. She is a member of the Newspaper Features Council and Society of Illustrators. She can be reached via e-mail at


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