Q My mother’s aunt and uncle gave me this vase when I was a young girl (I’m soon going to be 92!) and they were elderly at the time. It has a broken neck and small chip on the bottom and it about 12 inches tall.
– D.S., Ceresco, Neb.
A Your decorative vase is an example of early 20th-century Japanese Satsuma pottery. Such brightly colored wares were widely exported to the West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Generally the hand-painting is not as fine as on Satsuma pieces made for the domestic market, but they still can have collector appeal here. I would date your vase to around 1900-1930. Unfortunately, with the damage the piece only has sentimental vase.
Q Can you help me? I’d like to find out more about my sideboard. It is missing something on the top shelf, maybe a marble top. It has wooden pegs on top. It is in really good condition, but is missing one drawer pull. One side has shelves and the other has wine racks. In one of the drawers a brass plate reads “Rhind & Sons Ltd. Manchester.” Any info you can give me about its age and value would be appreciated.
– L.A., Victoria, Texas
A This large piece is an early 20th-century copy of a style of 17th-century cabinet called a “court cupboard.” This name refers to the design of the piece, not that it had anything to do with royalty. In this case, “court” comes from the French word for “short.” These pieces were sort of an early sideboard with the open shelves designed to hold objects such as silver. I don’t think this piece would have had a marble top but perhaps the holes were meant to support a low gallery around the top. The cupboard is most likely oak or oak veneer and may well have been part of a matching dining room suite of the 1920s. Depending on the local market for this type of revival style furniture I’d guess you could value your piece in the $150-$350 range or perhaps just a bit more.
Q I’ve had these three books (don’t know if they should be called comics, pulps or magazines!) for many years. They are about 30 pages long. The covers have a little age damage, and the pages are brown with age. Can you tell me if they have a value? Who would be interested in items like these?
– R.W., Sebastian, Fla.
A You have a fascinating collection of very early magazines dating from the earliest days of American automotive history. The colorful covers, featuring early motorbikes and autos, really add to their appeal and overall these copies appear to be in very good condition. There were several motoring magazines published in this country before the 1920s, but copies in top condition are very scarce. If your issues are complete with covers and all the interior pages in good condition, I think each issue could sell today in the $30-$50 range.