Q This penguin pitcher appears to be brass and with rodder beak. It looks like silver on the bottom. It was purchased more than 20 years ago and I don’t know anything about it. Do you?
– C.S., Steubenville, Ohio
A I believe your figural penguin may originally have served as a cocktail shaker. Several versions of these were produced with a chrome finish during the 1930s; however, the ones I have seen do not quite match this design. Also, the details on this bird seem a bit crude compared to other early examples and some of the old versions have been reproduced in recent years. Your piece might have had a chrome finish originally (the silver color on the base). I checked out photos of the current reproductions and they don’t match this piece so I’m not sure of the age or origin. If it is an older piece, it was rather crudely made and with the worn finish the value would be greatly reduced. Perhaps a fair value range would be $25-$50.
Q My husband brought this table home from an auction. Will we destroy its value if we give it a much-needed refinishing?
– V.G., Mesa, Ariz.
AYour long table would probably be referred to as a library table and it is in the late Victorian Eastlake style popular in the 1880s and 1890s. Refinished carefully, I think it could be valued in the $200-$400 range.
Q I’ve owned this piece of glass since 1972. I’ve shown it to many dealers all over the country and not one of them could give me the answer to what it is. It’s about nine inches long, with green glass on each end and rose glass in the middle. There are gold rings on each end of the rose piece. I’m hoping you’re the person who can finally identify my piece of mystery glass.
– C.N., Perkasie, Pa.
A From your description I suspect this blown glass “baton” was a novelty item produced at an American glass factory during the second half of the 19th century. Similar novelties, such as canes, were off-hand pieces made by glass blowers and were sometimes used by these workers when a group of them marched in a local parade. The form is a bit unusual but without more exact background on its history, this is my best guess. Such one-of-a-kind “whimsies” can sell in the $75-$200 range.