Ask Antique Trader: Gold-filled tea set may be Czech

Q My husband recently retired and we are planning to downsize. Can you give me some idea of the date of this armchair and value? We have two of these with arms and two without.
– J.S., Kansas City, Mo.

A First, you have part of a set of dining room chairs. Your close-up photo of the underside showing construction reveals 20th century saw marks. However there are other clues that the photo doesn’t show, such as the types of nails. The style is confusing, showing Sheraton influences. The armchairs could sell in a shop for $150 or more.

Q Could you let me know the value of this gold-filled tea set?
– M.K., Grayslake, Ill.

A While I was unable to identify the mark on the bottom of your pieces, it was probably made in Czechoslovakia, late 19th century, before 1891. If it had been made after that it would have had the country of origin named. Similar sets sell for $200 or more.

Q We have owned the English baby carriage in the photo since 1963. It is a “Pedigree Conway,” is a full-size baby buggy, but in need of TLC. What is the value?
– G.S.S., Northbrook, Ill.

A It could bring $250 or more.


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


The Great Unknown
matt cutter?

I have attached a photo of a vintage cutting tool I found when cleaning out my father’s garage. I have no idea what it is to be used for although someone thought it might be a photo matt cutting machine. Through any of your venues, could you help me identify this item, please?

The box is approximately 18 inches long and has a slide closure lid.  Inside are three cutting blocks with blades at varying angles, three triangular pieces the same length as the blocks and a long slender piece with holes drilled in it. There are attachment screws and extra blades in the box.
Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated. If you can’t help, perhaps you could refer me to someone else who could.

Thanks so much.

Every week, “Ask Antique Trader” receives scores of inquiries from readers, seeking more information about a recent find, a gift from a friend or relative, or an oddity that’s been sitting on a shelf for years.

We pass all of these questions along to our panel of experts, but once in awhile, we get a question about an object that stops us in our tracks. We want to share these unusual treasures with readers in the hope that they’ll offer their opinions and perhaps enlighten us all.

“Ask Antique Trader” will feature these oddities on a regular basis in the print and online editions of the magazine.

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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.

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